I can't imagine how it would feel after I've seen my cattle die, my daughter almost fall down the stairs because of chronic headaches and dizziness, and my family get sick to the point we had to leave our farm and move into our parents basement. And then to be told that it's not the constant tar sands emissions that are the problem, but my attitude to the oil and gas industry.
This pipeline project will not survive public scrutiny. Enbridge and Kinder Morgan do not have, and will not have, our permission. We will stop these pipelines and the Harper regime would be smart to listen or at least get out of the way. A government can only hide the fact that they do not represent the values of the people of their country for so long before people wake up to it and show them the door.
To say that rock legend Neil Young has been making waves on his ACFN 'Honour the Treaties' tour would be an understatement. His comments about the horrors of the tar sands have made front-page headlines, set social media ablaze, and have brought out more than a few attacks mostly from stalwarts of the oil industry.
Imagine that I took all the e-mails and messages that I have ever written, as well as recordings of all Skype calls that I have ever made, and gave them to a group of strangers. Should we trust the priorities these strangers will have in 10 years, or 20 or 50? Should we trust that this immense cache of data will not become a commodity, traded to other governments that exist now, or will exist in the future?
This week will be filled with really big moments for both Enbridge and Kinder Morgan in BC. Today, Kinder Morgan announced that they have finally filed their application to build a new tar sands oil pipeline along the route of the Trans Mountain pipeline. On Thursday or Friday this week, it is suspected that we may finally have a decision from the National Energy Board (NEB) on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. Both Kinder Morgan and Enbridge really have become Harper's pipelines. But Enbridge and Kinder Morgan do not have the permission of the people of B.C. The Harper government and these companies still have the opportunity to do the right thing and listen to the people. Please pledge your opposition and end the year by reminding Stephen Harper who really is in charge.
The Tories have money on their side, and lots of it. They are a powerhouse when it comes to grassroots fundraising, outperforming both the NDP and Liberals by far. In 2012 alone, when one would expect fundraising dollars to be on the low side, the Tories raked in $17.3 million from 87,306 contributors.
Cross border organizing is becoming a bigger part of tar sands campaigns for native and non-native people alike. Mariner culture dictates that if there's is a distress call anyone in the vicinity has a responsibility to act. That is the spirit of shared responsibility and stewardship that is behind our TarSandsSOS.org site. ForestEthics, with offices in Bellingham and San Francisco, partnered with Vancouver-based ForestEthics Advocacy to create it. The site is home to a unique tar sands oil tanker tracking system, which displays those tanker's locations in real time. The site also generates real time tweets when tankers carrying tar sands enter sensitive habitats on the West Coast, like whale habitat in Washington State's San Juan Islands.
Within a few weeks the lake will be gone. CNRL has been ordered to return it in 2014 but I think we all know that lakes can't simply be filled like a swimming pool. Lakes are an integral part of ecosystems. Animals, insects, birds and plants depend on them and those interconnected relationships take decades or even centuries to develop.
It's been another spill-filled summer in the spill-prone province of Alberta. With Alberta averaging over two oil spills a day over the past 37 years, there are many spills that we don't know about. However we do know about some and what we know is alarming. Here is a recap of just five of the spills to hit Alberta this summer.
The recent scandals involving senators offer more reasons to question the Senate's continued existence. Senators currently control investigations into other senators' ethics, spending, attendance and actions overall. This is a completely ineffective system undermined by rampant conflicts of interest -- and senators are not even talking about changing it. While there are many proposals to reform the Senate, they all leave or create more problems than they solve, and all require changes to the Constitution (as Prime Minister Harper will soon learn when the Supreme Court of Canada rules on his reference case) -- so abolishing the Senate is no more difficult than any other option.
While many policy areas influence -- positively or negatively -- equality of opportunity, education is first among equals. The very idea of progress is under real threat in this country, for the first time in generations. The Canadian promise, that if you get educated and work hard, you can guarantee a better life for yourself and for your kids, is being seriously questioned. Canadians are rightly concerned that their leaders have lost focus on the policy that is at the heart of this promise: access to affordable, high quality education. In short, the core of Liberal economic policy should be to make Canada the best educated country on Earth. So what should the federal role look like?
As a candidate in this leadership race I believe we have a responsibility during this campaign to define where we stand; we must be clear in our convictions; and speak honestly to Liberals and to Canadians. And therein lies the difference between my friend, colleague and fellow candidate Justin Trudeau and myself. =
Earlier this afternoon Prime Minister Stephen Harper removed Senator Patrick Brazeau from the Conservative caucus for "reasons that are personal but very serious." The now independent 38-year-old Senator has been an embarrassing character for public service as well as aboriginal youth. He could and should have been a great role model.
Our wireless phone service contracts and rates put Canada 10 years behind Europe and Asia, even our neighbours to the South beat us by a large margin. Given that the prices for service are so high, perhaps we could rest assured that the quality would be on par. Here too Canada pales in comparison to other countries.
The single woman entrepreneur operating a start-up business in a remote village of Bangladesh is just as important as the large multinational company employing hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. CIDA works with both to help alleviate poverty in the developing world. Our government will continue to be there when humanitarian crises strikes the globe's most vulnerable. But our long-term goal is to help people help themselves, so that they can move themselves and their families from poverty to prosperity -- a result I believe all Canadians can take pride in.