DESMOG CANADA

Canada's War on Science Brings Us International Shame

Carol Linnitt | Posted 09.09.2014 | Canada Politics
Carol Linnitt

Canada's so-called "War on Science" has made international headlines, especially after deep funding cuts led to the closure of some of Canada's most important research centres. Thousands of federal scientists from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as well as Environment Canada have lost their jobs as a result of the cuts. Since 2006 the Harper government has introduced strict communications procedures that prevent scientists from speaking freely about -- and at times even publishing -- their research.

B.C. Can Expect More Mount Polleys

Carol Linnitt | Posted 08.18.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

The industry needs productive, safe, and enabling parameters to work within, and British Columbians deserve to rest assured that our business leaders and elected representatives are engineering those limits properly -- with a foundation much stronger than that of the Mount Polley tailings pond.

Fracking Waste Illegally Dumped in Dawson Creek Water Treatment System: Official

Carol Linnitt | Posted 08.05.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

"The situations we've encountered in every case has been an independent contractor to a company who signs on to a company [saying] they will dispose of the waste in an appropriate manner...and then behave badly, try to save themselves some money by coming to our dump instead of going to the proper spot."

Fancy a Swim in Sewage? Take a Dip in Ottawa River After It Rains

DeSmog Canada | Posted 07.31.2014 | Canada
DeSmog Canada

In 2012, when Gatineau beaches were tested 12 times, the Parc Moussette beach received a D rating three times. In 2013, with eight test dates through the summer, the same beach was posted as unsafe for swimming once and this year. Health Canada estimates that, at the D-grade level, about 100,000 Canadians a year get sick from swimming in polluted waters.

BC Nature Files Legal Challenge Against Northern Gateway Pipeline Approval

Carol Linnitt | Posted 09.13.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

"In the lawsuit filed today, we argue that due to fundamental flaws in the JRP's report, Cabinet was deprived of the legal authority to make a final decision on the pipeline," Chris Tollefson, ELC executive director and lawyer for BC Nature, said.

New Poll: Canadians Think Oilsands Contribute Way More to the Economy Than They Actually Do

Carol Linnitt | Posted 09.03.2014 | Canada Business
Carol Linnitt

According to the poll, conducted by Environics and commissioned by Environmental Defence, 41 per cent of Canadians believe the importance of the oilsands to the economy is six to 24 times higher than it actually is. And a full 57 per cent of Canadians overestimate the value of oilsands to the country's economy.

Fears of Cost Overruns, Flooding of Peace Valley Loom on Eve of Site C Dam Report

DeSmog Canada | Posted 07.07.2014 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

Opponents of the proposed Site C dam are hoping a report from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency panel, to be released Thursday, will emphasize potential environmental damage from the massive dam and persuade the federal and provincial governments that the project should be scrapped.

Can University Of Victoria Lead The Way On Divesting Fossil Fuels?

Carol Linnitt | Posted 07.02.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

"If you can believe it, my faculty pension has no ethical screens. We can invest in arms, tobacco, and so on. It's outrageous, really. But of all places in society, the university is well-positioned to lead, to find creative solutions to these complexities."

Killing B.C. Environmental Reviews 'Not In The Public Interest'

Carol Linnitt | Posted 06.15.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

"Environmental assessments are supposed to allow the public and regulators to better understand and avoid potential risks. Removing the requirement for an environmental review is not in the public interest," said lawyer Jessica Clogg.

People Without Educational Expertise Shouldn't Draft Educational Policy

DeSmog Canada | Posted 06.07.2014 | Canada
DeSmog Canada

The answer seems to be found in that old abysmal gap between policy-makers and practitioners. Why is anyone without educational expertise drafting educational policy? The actual question of who decides upon curriculum is nothing new: even the role and qualifications of teachers in this process is a contested matter.

New Law Officially Opens B.C. Parks To Pipelines, Drilling

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.26.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

"The government has sent a clear signal that it is open to having pipelines cut through our globally renowned protected areas," said Al Martin of the B.C. Wildlife Federation. "The Act will now allow industrial expansion in some of B.C.'s most beloved parks, placing them at risk."

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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 05.25.2014 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

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

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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 05.24.2014 | Canada Politics
DeSmog Canada

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?

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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 05.18.2014 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

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.

Is Canada Really An 'Energy Superpower'?

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.18.2014 | Canada
Carol Linnitt

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver attended the East Coast Energy Conference last week, where he said: "Canada is emerging as a 21st century energy...

Is There Room For Big Oil In Alberta Classrooms?

DeSmog Canada | Posted 05.12.2014 | Canada Alberta
DeSmog Canada

"It's time that the Alberta government realizes that what's good for the oil industry isn't what's good for the rest of Alberta and especially not our children. While oil may run our cars for now it shouldn't run our government or our schools. Ever."

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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 05.10.2014 | Canada Politics
DeSmog Canada

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.

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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 04.07.2014 | Canada
DeSmog 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.

Canada's Petrostate Has Killed Our Reputation

DeSmog Canada | Posted 04.01.2014 | Canada Business
DeSmog Canada

"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."

Caribou, Humpbacks May Legally Stand In Way Of Pipeline: Lawsuit

Carol Linnitt | Posted 03.22.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

Not even a month has passed since the federally-appointed Joint Review Panel (JRP) released its official report recommending approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline, pending the fulfillment of 209 conditions. Yet already two separate suits have been filed against the integrity of the report, with groups requesting that the federal cabinet delay a final decision on the pipeline project until the Federal Court of Appeal can assess the complaints.

Are Neil Young's Oilsands Comments Productive or Polarizing?

DeSmog Canada | Posted 03.17.2014 | Canada
DeSmog Canada

If you're using the Neil Young kerfuffle as a moment to dig your trench a little deeper, remember: if we're going to make progress on energy issues in this country, we're all going to have to stick our heads up, stop seeing the people on the other side of the debate as enemies and find some common ground in the middle.

We Must Stand Firm and Demand Safer Pipelines

DeSmog Canada | Posted 03.17.2014 | Canada Politics
DeSmog Canada

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.

Why is the Harper Administration Throwing Away Entire Libraries?

DeSmog Canada | Posted 03.18.2014 | Canada
DeSmog Canada

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.

Why Is Environment Canada Shutting Out the Media?

Carol Linnitt | Posted 02.12.2014 | Canada
Carol Linnitt

Throughout 2013, 22 per cent of media requests for interviews with scientists were denied while requests in the past five months have increased by 50 per cent, the letter states. In total Environment Canada received just 316 media requests in 2013, of which 246 (78 per cent) were approved. Climate scientist at the University of Victoria and Green party MLA Andrew Weaver says the fact that Environment Canada is giving such a small amount of interviews is "shameful." What is more troubling, says Weaver, are the kinds of interview requests being denied.

How Beaver Lake Cree Heats Up the Landmark Tar Sands Trial

Carol Linnitt | Posted 01.28.2014 | Canada Business
Carol Linnitt

The infamous Cold Lake oil spills, discovered on four well pads operated by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., spilled a total of at least 1.8 million litres of oil into surrounding forest and wetlands. Several fissures in the ground seeped oil into the area for months as the company and energy regulator tried to understand the cause of the release.