First published in the Chronicle Journal May 7 2016
By Peter Lang
On April 28, uninvited and without the $450 delegate fee, I was allowed to observe TransCanada Pipeline’s presentation to NOMA’s annual general meeting. It must have been the 1,000 signatures on our petition to reject the proposed Energy East pipeline… And, as with TCP’s address to City Council last August, the corporation was spared any contrary public input.
In his address, TCP’s Stefan Baranski first implicated us in the global demand for oil by asking, “How many of you drove here today?” He then followed with projections to show that increasing demand — after which he declared — “We have the oil!”
We know that. It’s what we should do with it now that we begin to understand climate change, the science behind it, and in light of Canada’s commitments to the Paris Summit last December. More »
Firs published in the Chronicle Journal Monday April 25, 2016
by Jason MacLean
After the US Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizen United, the corrupting influence of money in politics was supposed to be an exceptionally American problem. But it turns out that it’s very much a Canadian problem, too. Worse still, the corruption of money in politics is trumped by the corruption of expertise. Worst of all, the corruption of expertise is at the root of every important public policy issue, including climate change. More »
First Posted:Chronicle Journal Saturday, May 9, 2015
By Julee Boan and Faisal Moola
Managing publicly-owned forests is complicated. Goals for forestry, hydroelectric development, mining, tourism, hunting, recreation, conservation and other forest uses are not always compatible and trade-offs must be made. It is fair to say that our organizations – the David Suzuki Foundation and Ontario Nature – don’t always agree with claims made by some members of the forestry industry that their logging is sustainable.
At last week’s annual meeting, the Northern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) passed a resolution (Support for Northern Forestry Operations) sending our organizations a clear message: Keep your mouths shut and your opinions to yourselves. More »
First Published in the Chronicle Journal Freda Davies
Saturday, March 28, 2015
What do we do with Harper’s fear-mongering?
According to polls — about as trustworthy as spring ice on the Kam River — most people in Canada think terrorists are behind every tree and lamp-post, and they approve of the Harper government’s latest draconian measure, Bill C-51, to remove all the leashes and let the spies loose to do whatever it is spies like to do. Tragically, the Liberals have gobbled Harper’s bait, abandoning their most treasured accomplishment, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. More »
First Published Monday, March 23, 2015
? Chronicle Journal Columns
By Jason MacLean
Have you watched Under the Dome yet? I’m not talking about the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name. I’m talking about the documentary released last month about China’s cataclysmic air pollution that generated more than 200 million views on Chinese websites within days of its release before the government ordered that it be removed from the Internet (you can watch it with English subtitles here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6X2uwlQGQM). More »
By now you’ve probably heard about the historic Lima Accord — nearly 200 countries have agreed to agree to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of oil, gas and coal. Of course, it’s just a pledge at this point, with the final agreement to be reached next year in Paris. And even if a final agreement is reached, it won’t be legally binding. The Lima Accord doesn’t actually obligate countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by any particular amount, or at all. Rather, countries are encouraged to submit by March 2015 their plans — “Intended Nationally Determined Amounts” — setting out how much they will cut after the year 2020, and what domestic laws they will pass to achieve the cuts. If countries miss the March 2015 deadline, they get an extension until June 2015. And if they miss the June 2015 deadline, well, no one really cares. More »
I attended Resolute Forest Product’s Boreal Forum held on November 25th. According to Resolute, we were invited for “a community discussion on the future of the Ontario boreal forest and the role it will play in the future prosperity of Northern Ontario”. I believed I was attending an event designed to hear the voices of northern citizens, like me. I was seriously misled. More »
“TransCanada plans to spend big, but project uncertainty looms,” read a recent headline in The Globe and Mail.
The newspaper went on to describe TransCanada as a “Calgary-based pipeline and power giant” and explained to those of us who choose to think about sunnier topics than the politics of oil pipelines that the projects in doubt include TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL and Energy East pipelines.
But TransCanada apparently intends to do more than just spend big. According to documents prepared for TransCanada by Edelman, one of the world’s largest public relations firms, Edelman is advising TransCanada to “add layers of difficulty for our opponents, distracting them from their mission More »
No doubt the double entendre was unintended. However, when a bill calling for a National Fiddling Day is introduced late the same afternoon as a quietly tabled report showing extreme climate effects on Canada’s boreal forests, and coming the day after Prime Minister Stephen Harper shunned the UN global climate summit, we are unfortunately left with an image of Nero fiddling amidst the fires of Rome. More »
University of Toronto geography professor Danny Harvey recently filed a motion with the National Energy Board urging them to reconsider its refusal to consider the climate change impact of the proposed trans-mountain oil pipeline expansion.
Prof. Harvey’s logic is pretty straightforward. It goes like this:
• New and expanded oil pipelines will facilitate the expansion of tar sands production.
• Expanded tar sands production will significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions.
• Increased greenhouse gas emissions will worsen climate change.
• Worsened climate change will jeopardize the well-being of Canadians, including future generations. More »
How can it be that we have a provincial election with a myriad of political parties represented and the world’s number one great issue isn’t meaningfully discussed, or even mentioned? Human-induced environmental destabilization is already affecting us with strange and extreme weather and, due to global warming, will only greatly increase with time as we pump more green house gases into our atmosphere. But that is merely one paramount issue ignored during the election. More »
Paul Adams, veteran of the CBC and Globe and Mail, who now writes for iPolitics, makes consistently intelligent observations about the dilemma of Canada’s “progressive” opposition parties. In his book, Power Trap, and in his columns, he observes how petty tribal rivalries between the Liberals and New Democrats have blinded and crippled both parties, preventing them from effectively addressing the truly disastrous havoc that Stephen Harper and associates are inflicting upon our democracy, social fabric and environment. More »
Canada’s Third National Policy is an essay every Canadian should read, and an idea that every Canadian should embrace.
In Canada’s Third National Policy, Rod Macdonald and Bob Wolfe argue that Canada has evolved through three national policies.
Canada’s first national policy (np1) was a response to the Great Depression of 1873 and consisted of tariffs to prop up Canadian manufacturers, immigration to the prairies and the construction of a transcontinental transportation infrastructure. Sir John A. Macdonald’s National Policy of 1879 was a superb — if cynical — campaign slogan, and it still fires the ambitions of his party today. More »
What’s gone wrong with democracy? That’s the question recently posed by the British magazine The Economist, which observed that even in established democracies like Canada, “flaws in the system have become worryingly visible and disillusion with politics is rife.”
The Economist’s diagnosis of what ails democracy is disturbing. Politicians have been captured by special interest groups (read: powerful industries and their lobbyists) and undermined by anti-democratic habits like, say, proroguing parliament to dodge inconvenient questions and indefensible lapses of judgment. More »