After 24 years of controversy, a vital deadline is looming for Glacier Resorts Ltd., which by next month has to prove to B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Office that significant progress has been made on the billion-dollar plan to build a 6,300-bed resort on Crown land in the glacial wilderness, 55 kilometres west of Invermere.
"One of the mysteries is why he has got his nose in it at all," said B.C. MLA Norm Macdonald, adding that people worry about publicly criticizing powerful minister Bill Bennett. "This is complete insider stuff. It's a remote corner of the province and they're getting away with stuff no one would get away with anywhere else... Everything about it feels like cronyism at its worst."
Facing criticism in the lead up to the U.N. Climate Summit, which prime minister Stephen Harper did not attend, the Harper Government released a new public outreach campaign through Environment Canada. Already critics are pointing to the apparent disparity between the Environment Canada campaign and Canada's waning reputation on the international stage.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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'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.