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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 10.06.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

Alaskans emphasize they are not against resource extraction, provided there are adequate environmental and financial safeguards, but believe Canada's record -- most recently illustrated by the Mount Polley mine tailings dam collapse -- shows that B.C.'s regulations are not strong enough to protect downstream communities.

What Is the Environmental Impact of Celebrities Visiting the Oilsands?

DeSmog Canada | Posted 09.28.2015 | Canada Alberta
DeSmog Canada

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 repeat.

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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 09.01.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

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.

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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 08.14.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

Former BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen says ratepayers will face a "devastating" increase in their electricity bills if the Site C dam is built

Stephen Harper Forgets His Own Pledge to End Fossil Fuel Use

Carol Linnitt | Posted 08.13.2015 | Canada Politics
Carol Linnitt

If the recent frufrah over NDP candidate Linda McQuaig's comment that "a lot of the oilsands oil may have to stay in the ground" is indicative of anything, it's that Canada's election cycle is in full spin. May all reasonableness and sensible dialogue and accountability be damned. Perhaps that's the blunt and singular reason behind the Conservative Party and Stephen Harper's outrage at McQuaig's entirely non-contentious assertion that, because of our international commitments to curtail global climate change, Canada won't exploit the entirety of its oil reserves.

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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 08.12.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

Commercial and sports fishing fill the freezers and wallets of Wrangell residents but, out of mind for many of them, behind the shield of the Coast Mountains, lurks a threat that could annihilate the area's fishing and tourism-based economy.

One Year In, Residents Remain Frustrated with Superficial Cleanup of Mount Polley Spill

Carol Linnitt | Posted 08.06.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

"It's not just what the breach did environmentally to us; it's what has happened with the bad publicity we got when this went around the world. That also hurt everybody here."

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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 07.29.2015 | Canada Alberta
DeSmog Canada

A whole host of campaigns designed to advance the agenda of the fossil fuel industry have cropped up: Resource Works, British Columbians for Prosperity, Energy Citizens, Coal Alliance, Canadian Natural Resources Alliance, Pipeline Action, and many others.

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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 07.22.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

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.

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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 07.08.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

Those studying the issue say the human toll of wildfire needs to be balanced against the reality that vulnerable forests are going to burn either way -- especially given the mounting pressures presented by climate change.

Group Asks Alberta Government to Review Oilsands Water Usage Amid Wildfires

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.29.2015 | Canada Alberta
Carol Linnitt

The Keepers of the Athabasca want to know if the NDP will consider revising water use rules in light of extreme conditions induced by climate change. The group argues current rules are based "on our once vibrant past when water was plentiful."

B.C.'s Plan to Protect Endangered Caribou Is Flawed

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.22.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

B.C. will continue to kill wolves for at least a decade in an attempt to save endangered caribou according to government documents released this week -- but new research re-confirms that caribou declines are primarily caused by industrial development.

Rio Tinto Alcan Is Harming Kitimat Households

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.15.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

Increased sulphur dioxide (SO2) pollution from the expanded Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) aluminum smelter in Kitimat, B.C. will result in increased health costs for local households, an expert witness told an Environmental Appeals Board panel in Victoria, Monday.

Emissions From Rio Tinto Alcan Kitimat Smelter Are At Heart Of Hearings

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.03.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

"This case really does represent a situation where you have a regulator that has gotten too close to a powerful and well-resourced private interest that it is supposed to be independently regulating," said Chris Tollefson, lawyer for the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre.

Feds Charged Ahead With Northern Gateway First Nations Consultation Despite Internal Doubts

Carol Linnitt | Posted 06.25.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

Eight First Nations including the Haisla, the Nak'azdli and Gitxaala Nations have launched a legal challenge against the pipeline on the basis of inadequate consultation.

Before You Complain About Taxes, Read This

DeSmog Canada | Posted 06.24.2015 | Canada Business
DeSmog Canada

People don't like paying their taxes in part because the connection between what we pay and the goods and services we receive has been broken. Add to that a massive shift toward a consumer society in which people derive a lot of social standing from what they consume and it's an uphill battle for taxes.

Canadians Want Climate Action. So What Are the Conservatives Waiting For?

Carol Linnitt | Posted 06.24.2015 | Canada Politics
Carol Linnitt

While the majority of Canadians see climate change as a serious threat to the planet, Canada has no climate legislation and, according to Environment Canada, growing emissions from the Alberta oilsands will prevent the country from meeting its emission reduction targets under the Copenhagen Accord.

What Premier Brad Wall Gets Wrong About Canada's Emissions

Carol Linnitt | Posted 06.22.2015 | Canada Politics
Carol Linnitt

At the premiers' climate summit last week, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall brought up a statistic that has received a fair amount of attention lately: Canada's emissions account for fewer than two per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. He's not wrong, but Canada is also a heavy emitter per capita.

5 Seriously Disturbing B.C. Political Donations

DeSmog Canada | Posted 06.17.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

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

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

DeSmog Canada | Posted 06.02.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

The underground mine, which has not yet received federal approval, will be close to the headwaters of the Unuk River, which flows from B.C. into Alaska. The Unuk is one of southeast Alaska's largest king (chinook) salmon rivers.

How the Ministry of Environment Vetoed Our Interview Request

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.27.2015 | Canada Politics
Carol Linnitt

Documents obtained by DeSmog Canada reveal that Canada's Ministry of Environment vetoed an interview request on toxins in fur-bearing animals in the oilsands, even though the federal scientist was "media trained and interested in doing the interview."

Canada's Charitable Law Urgently Needs Reforming

DeSmog Canada | Posted 05.25.2015 | Canada Politics
DeSmog Canada

A report released today by the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre calls for sweeping reform of Canadian charitable law in line with other jurisdictions such as the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and England. Current rules around "political activity" are confusing and create an "intolerable state of uncertainty," the report says.

How Come CSIS 'Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny' Spying On Me?

Carol Linnitt | Posted 05.03.2015 | Canada Politics
Carol Linnitt

Unfortunately, when it comes to CSIS, Canadians can expect very little transparency, a cause for additional concern when you recall Harper eliminated the position of the CSIS watchdog in 2012. The only overview of CSIS is handled by the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), a body comprised of part-time appointees with limited resources that assess CSIS operations after-the-fact.

Here's What Kinder Morgan's Keeping Secret About B.C. Spill Response Plans

Carol Linnitt | Posted 04.15.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

So, what did Kinder Morgan tell Washington State that it refuses to tell B.C.?

Five Poll Results That Will Cause Oil Execs Some Headaches

DeSmog Canada | Posted 04.09.2015 | Canada Business
DeSmog Canada

Fewer than one-in-ten post-secondary graduates find oil and gas industry associations credible and trustworthy when it comes to carbon emissions. That shouldn't come as a huge surprise given that industry associations like the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers have fought new greenhouse gas regulations and successfully lobbied to weaken Canada's environmental laws.