The term “neoliberalism” isn’t new. It was coined in 1938 at a meeting in which social democracy was framed as analogous to a collectivism like Nazism and communism. But neoliberalism today is a conundrum: its slimy tendrils claw into everyday Western life, yet it is so anonymous that we seldom even recognize it as a pervasive ideology. Neoliberalism pushes deregulation on economies around the world, forces open national markets to trade and capital, and demands that governments shrink themselves via austerity or privatization.
Neoliberalism’s anonymity is its essential symptom and cause of its power, and the Sunrise movement is seeking to make the consequences of neoliberalism transparent in society. You know Sunrise, even if you can’t immediately grasp why. They’re the cohort of primarily college-aged activists who are promoting the Green New Deal. You saw pictures of their sit-in in front of Nancy Pelosi’s congressional office in the news and on 60 Minutes when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) joined them in support of objectives to virtually eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a decade.
The earth is on track for 3-4 C degrees of warming, which would cause sea level rise of several feet and make extreme weather more frequent and dangerous, among other consequences. The next 4 to 12 years are critical if the world wants to limit that warming. Waiting to reduce greenhouse gases will make the challenge harder.
The Sunrise Movement is working to build a cohort of young people to make climate change an urgent priority across the US, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people. MORE
Change Everything is a podcast by people who are freaking out about climate, racism, and inequality… and thinking through solutions as big as the crises we face.
Each month, hosts Maya Menezes and Avi Lewis will dig into a theme related to the intersecting crises of climate, racism and inequality, with the help of guests from movements across Canada and around the world.
They’ll discuss politics and policy, social movements and social change, and how they fit together. It’s time to change everything. So join us, subscribe to the podcast, and tell us what you think.
Payments to landowners made by government on behalf of delinquent companies up 840 per cent since 2010
When oil and gas companies drill wells on private property, they enter into a contract with landowners to pay an annual fee — rent for the land.
However, when companies don’t pay, landowners can apply to a government tribunal — called the Surface Rights Board — that steps in and pays the rent using taxpayer money. The government is supposed to recoup that money from the companies, so taxpayers aren’t footing the bill.
“If people are worried about 3,000 [current orphan wells] then they won’t know what hit them with 80,000 coming.”
“The vast majority of operators [whose rents are being paid by taxpayers] are in bankruptcy proceedings, receivership or insolvent,” Mike Hartfield, spokesperson for the Surface Rights Board, told The Narwhal.
The Narwhal reported in January that Alberta recouped less than two per cent of all money paid on behalf of delinquent oil and gas companies in 2017 . MORE
Community leaders are describing Kenney’s resurfaced comments as “vulgar,” “racist” and “offensive on very many levels”
Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta’s United Conservative Party, is under fire for a newly resurfaced video in which he condemned wealthy “White Anglo-Saxon Protestants” who fund initiatives providing “condoms and birth control pills and abortion clinics” to people in the developing world.
The video, filmed at a Catholic home school conference in the early 2000s, shows the then-Canadian Alliance MP telling a room full of social conservatives these public health initiatives are an effort to “remove the moral code” in developing countries and replace it with a “libertine worldview.”
Jason Kenney to Catholic home school conference
Standing behind a podium adorned with an image of the Virgin Mary, Kenney railed against foreign foundations – including the “Rockefeller Foundation” and the “Ford Foundation” – for backing birth control initiatives around the world. MORE
Oil exports to Asia. Illustration by Carol Linnitt.
For years, we’ve been told again and again (and again) that Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is desperately needed for producers to export oil to Asian countries and get much higher returns.
The way it’s been framed makes it seem like it’s the only thing standing between Alberta and fields of gold.
Small problem: Canadian producers already have the ability to ship their heavy oil to Asia via the existing 300,000 barrel per day Trans Mountain pipeline — but they’re not using it.
“Virtually no exports go to any markets other than the U.S.,” economist Robyn Allan told DeSmog Canada. “The entire narrative perpetrated by Prime Minister Trudeau and Alberta Premier Notley is fabricated.” MORE
Canadian taxpayers will be on the hook for another $2-billion fossil fuel subsidy if the National Energy Board accepts the latest request from the federal Crown corporation that now operates the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, economist Robyn Allan reports in a National Observer exposé.
“If the NEB approves the toll application Trans Mountain has filed with it, it will shift the burden for the roughly $3 billion Ottawa paid to buy the regulated assets onto Canadians, rather than into tolls charged to shippers where the recovery of these costs belongs,” Allan writes. She discovered that “unacceptable burden” after reviewing Trans Mountain’s January 4 application for toll rates between 2019 and 2021.
“Pipeline companies make money by charging tolls to fossil fuel companies that ship oil and gas on their pipelines,” Allan explains. “Trans Mountain entered into private discussions with its shippers last fall to determine the tolls that would be charged from 2019 to 2021 since its most recent three-year settlement expired December 31, 2018. The outcome of those discussions resulted in favourable terms for the oil industry borne on the backs of hard-working Canadians.” MORE
‘The prosecution should not be discussing trial strategy with the (PMO’s) right hand person’ – Mainville
Suspended Vice-Admiral Mark Norman and his lawyer Christine Mainville leave court following a hearing on access to documents in Ottawa, Friday November 23, 2018. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
A pretrial hearing in the breach-of-trust case against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman took a sudden political turn Monday when the defence alleged that prosecutors have been talking trial strategy with the bureaucratic department that supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office and the federal cabinet.
The federal government is fighting defence requests for the release of un-redacted notes from meetings between officials at the Privy Council Office (PCO) and Crown lawyers.
In an email sent to Norman’s lawyers on Friday, one of the lead prosecutors, Barbara Mercier, said the documents being sought by the defence are being censored because they deal with “trial strategy” and censoring them is entirely appropriate.
That prompted defence counsel Christine Mainville to accuse the Prime Minister’s Office of trying to direct the case.
She also said the Crown should not be discussing strategy with PCO because the PCO instigated the investigation into an alleged leak of cabinet secrets Norman has been accused of orchestrating. MORE