Today in Alberta there is a debate about parental rights v. the rights of LGBTQ kids. It centres around the obligation of a school teacher to whom a student discloses their orientation or gender identity to tell that student's parents. I was fortunate that my parents were supportive and understanding. Not all kids are so fortunate.
Fires are a natural part of many boreal forest ecosystems, but the massive blaze raging in Alberta is a catastrophe that threatens human health, the economy and the environment. This current episode in the Fort McMurray area is remarkable in its size, extent and human impact. Data from the Global Forest Watch platform provide context on what's going on with Alberta's forest fires
The startling images that have come out of Fort McMurray over the past week have shaken this country to its core. Canadians held their breath, hoping for the best as families fled, often unsure where they would end up, hoping with the rest of the nation that they would find someplace safe to lay their heads.
I have been fortunate to be able to assist on the ground with disaster relief in communities across Alberta including the Slave Lake fire in 2011 and the Calgary floods in 2013, and I've learned that cash donations, even small ones, are by far the most effective way to help those recovering from a disaster.
I can understand that Alberta faces economic hardships; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the cabinet meeting would examine the challenges that Alberta has to face because the price of petroleum has fallen through the floor. But in 2015-16, is the building of pipelines an appropriate remedy for the economic woes of Alberta?
Alberta's carbon tax is expected to have a relatively minor impact on middle to lower income folks, but what about a major city that buys $60 million worth of power every year? That's going to cut into some budgets! It turns out there's one municipality that's positioned very well for a carbon tax but its name might surprise you.
Currently job losses have been concentrated in the energy sector, but more job losses are expected across industries that depend on investment and activities in the energy sector. This rising unemployment coupled with a correction in the housing market is putting a further strain on indebted households.
The NDP government of Rachel Notley is showing the rest of Canada, and Newfoundland and Labrador in particular, that when tough times hit, we look after each other. Across the country, the Liberal government of Dwight Ball is showing no such compassion, bringing in tax hikes and service cuts that hurt those with the lowest incomes most.
Despite my frustration around the outcome of our recent NDP convention, I'm prepared to take Avi Lewis at face value when he says that he didn't expect his Leap Manifesto to be so explosive. And I'd like to try explaining the reaction from many Alberta New Democrats so that Mr. Lewis has a better sense of the road ahead.
In a cyclical way I feel music discovery now is like it was pre-internet, when people bought singles on 45. The internet and technology have made it easier than ever to record, release, download, stream, share, playlist, shazam, post and blog. There is so much music available -- it is really amazing.
No government should ever be allowed to take money out of the EI fund, and it may be time to consider entrenching that principle in law. Legislation that guarantees that the money workers pay into EI will be there for them when they need it would give those workers and their communities a great deal of comfort. Our new government has made significant steps in ensuring that EI meets the needs of workers and their communities. Guaranteeing the money will be there for them when they need it would be the next logical step.
"If climate change is a shark, then water is its teeth." Like a fish that doesn't notice the shark until it feels its sharp bite, humans will first feel the effects of climate change through water. Under current projections, most freshwater ecosystems globally will face ecologically significant impacts by the middle of this century.
An earthship is an off-grid home that produces its own energy, captures its own water, treats its own wastewater, grows its own food and passively collects the sun's energy for heat. That's the idea, anyways. But ever since the Kinney Earthship was built in the summer of 2014, Duncan Kinney has received many emails about one particular subject: how does it hold up so far north?
There is a catechism of the fossil fuel industry, with oft-repeated claims that seem by repetition to escape examination. Peter MacKay's recent opinion piece on pipelines was a veritable greatest hits compilation of such claims. He writes that "pipelines are by far the safest means of transporting oil." The first muddying of facts is the notion that we are talking about shipping oil. All the current pipeline proposals, including Energy East, are primarily about shipping unprocessed bitumen. Bitumen is in a pre-crude state and can only be casually referenced as "oil" if one accepted the idea that grain should be referred to as "croissants" when discussing markets.