— Elisha May Rubacha (@makingPTBO) April 30, 2019
The United Nations argues that the world has less than 12 years to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half to avoid severe climate change consequences. All around the world, young activists are fighting to achieve this goal. If you want a reason to hope, read this posting. You can join us in taking action on related issues here.
“Making ecocide the fifth Crimes Against Humanity listed by the Rome Statute would assure that individuals with superior responsibility for damaging Earth would have to defend themselves before the International Criminal Court. Because of the possibility of criminal charges, an ecocide law would also deter individuals, corporations and governments, from engaging in reckless behavior that endangers life.
“The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” – Utah Phillips
Just 100 companies are responsible for more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. The guys who run those companies – and they are mostly guys – have gotten rich on the backs of literally all life on Earth. Their business model relies on the destruction of the only home humanity has ever known. Meanwhile, we misdirect our outrage at our neighbors, friends, and family for using plastic straws or not recycling. If there is anyone who deserves the outrage of all 7.5 billion of us, it’s these 100 people right here. Combined, they control the majority of the world’s mineral rights – the “right” to exploit the remaining unextracted oil, gas, and coal. They need to know that we won’t leave them alone until they agree to Keep It In The Ground. Not just their companies, but them. Now it’s personal.
Houston tops this list as home to 7 of the 100 top ecocidal planet killers, followed by Jakarta, Calgary, Moscow, and Beijing. The richest person on the list is Russian oil magnate Vagit Alekperov, who is currently worth $20.7 billion.
The map is in the form of a cartogram which represents the size of countries by their cumulative carbon dioxide emissions since industrialization.
Closeup of the top 32 North Americans killing the planet.
“Names and Location of the Top 100 People Killing the Planet, 2019” was made by Jordan Engel. It can be reused under the Decolonial Media License 0.1.
In an interview with The National’s Rosemary Barton, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh made it clear his main goal heading into the 2019 federal election is to “make people’s lives better.” (Glen Kugelstadt/CBC News)
OTTAWA – With just seven weeks left before Parliament adjourns ahead of the fall federal election, NDP Leader and Burnaby South MP Jagmeet Singh is angling to put a trio of progressive policies on the federal agenda.
In an interview on CTV’s Question Period, Singh said that his three focuses will be housing, pharmacare, and spelling out his Canadian version of the “Green New Deal” put forward by U.S. lawmakers.
“We need more housing. Canadians are struggling with it; I’ve heard so many stories. Pharmacare for all. I really want a plan that lifts up everyone, that covers everyone in Canada. And finally, a Canadian version of a Green New Deal. We need to really take action on climate change,” Singh said.
Now, with talk of the Green party gaining momentum, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s brand damaged in the eyes of some progressive voters, and the countdown to the campaign already on, Singh is promising more details on his party’s “bold” policy propositions in the coming weeks.
Among them, his own take on a Green New Deal.
“What I want to do is move towards full investments in green energy, ending all investments at the federal stage, immediately ending all subsidies to fossil fuel sectors, and moving towards investments in renewable energy,” Singh said. MORE
“Small parties generally have a hard time in FPTP systems. But to change the system, you first have to beat the system. And in doing so, a little math and politics-fiction can’t hurt. It all starts with a little imagination.” –Philippe J. Fournier
A new 338Canada analysis shows the ‘Green Democrats’ would hold the balance of power in a minority government after the next election
Singh speaks following the tabling of the federal budget in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. (David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Here is an interesting exercise of politics-fiction. What if the NDP and Green Party decided that they have more in common than they have differences? With the recent success of the PC and Wildrose merger in Alberta, would it be so unreasonable to imagine what a Green Party-NDP merger could look like?
Let’s call them the Green Democrats.
I entered the numbers in the 338 electoral model and made the following hypotheses:
- Most of the current NDP and Green support would remain with the Green Democrats
- The Green Democrats would have a higher appeal among younger, urban and educated demographics (which is, statistically at least, already the case for the GPC and NDP)
- Neither Elizabeth May nor Jagmeet Singh would lead the new party.
Here are the results.
According to current data and with the hypotheses formulated above, the hypothetical Green Democrats would get an average support just under 27 per cent (roughly the combined support of the GPC and NDP). The confidence intervals range from roughly 23 per cent to 31 per cent of support.
The Green Democrats would still likely fall in third place behind the Conservatives and Liberals, but the race at the top would become far more competitive.
[Results based on the data from the 338 Electoral Projection of April 21st 2019.]
With this level of support, how would this theoretical new party fare in the seat projection? This is where it gets interesting. Here are the numbers.
By running the 338 electoral model with the numbers above, the Green Democrats would win an average of 59 seats, more than twice the current combined seat projections for the NDP and GPC.
What is perhaps more striking is that neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals stand at an average above the 170-seat threshold for a majority at the House of Commons. In fact, more than 80 per cent of all 250,000 simulations run by the model resulted in a minority government where the Green Democrats hold the balance of power. MORE
In anticipation of International Refugee Day and to observe the 40th anniversary of the refugee sponsorship movement in Canada, Amnesty International Quinte and Quinte Immigration Services invite you to a screening of the film “Inside my Heart” (2018). This film delivers a vital reminder about the humans who have been swept up in the global crisis which involves more than 68 million refugees. Join us on Wednesday, May 15 at 1 p.m. at the Belleville Public Library. This is a free event–all are welcome. We are asking those interested in attending to RSVP to the QUIS office at 613-968-7723.
Minister of Border Security Bill Blair’s proposal to widen the reach of the Safe Third Country Agreement would drive refugee claimants underground and violate Canada’s human rights obligations
Expansion of border pact with U.S. is impractical, inhumane, and illegal | Ricochet
Minister of Border Security Bill Blair is seeking to expand the Safe Third Country Agreement and apply it to refugee claimants already in Canada, with the result that more asylum seekers will be returned to the United States. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bill Morneau has announced that Budget 2019 will allocate new funds of over a billion dollars for this purpose, mischaracterizing those seeking refugee protection as wanting to “exploit Canada’s immigration system.”
Two major newspapers have since published editorials praising the move, noting that the proposal — which would see the RCMP apprehend and transport refugee claimants to the nearest port of entry to be removed — is a “logical and obvious solution.”
We think the proper descriptors are “illogical” and “illegal.”
This is the system to which Minister Blair hopes to remove claimants under the Safe Third Country Agreement .
The Safe Third Country Agreement bars migrants who enter Canada at official ports of entry from the U.S. from making refugee claims, with some exceptions. The premise of the agreement is that the U.S. and Canada are equivalent options for refugees, with both providing fair hearings and due process. Categorizing the U.S. as a safe country, however, is inaccurate.
The U.S. is a hostile environment for refugees. Asylum claimants often don’t have access to counsel, are prevented from making a claim if they wait more than one year after entry, and are kept in detention while their claims are assessed. Since 2016, the Trump administration has implemented the Muslim ban, closed the door on asylum claims based on domestic violence and gang violence, kept migrant children in cages, housed migrants in tent cities, and separated children from parents.
This is the system to which Minister Blair hopes to remove claimants under the Safe Third Country Agreement by apprehending those who present themselves at irregular border crossings and forcibly transporting them to official ports of entry. Already, the agreement causes harm. In Manitoba, there were multiple reports of serious frostbite in 2016, and in 2017 the body of Mavis Otuteye was found just south of our border. If the agreement is expanded to refugee claimants already inside Canada, people might take more dangerous routes into the country, placing this vulnerable population in an even more precarious situation. MORE
Prince Edward Council has not declared a climate emergency. Why not? Do they really expect citizens to avoid climate change? Climate leadership is conspicuously missing.
How does this motion measure up to Extinction Rebellion’s core demands?
On April 24, Ottawa City Council voted in favour of an eight-point motion to declare a climate emergency.
Extinction Rebellion, an international grassroots climate justice group, argues that governments must declare climate and ecological emergencies, and work with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change. The Ottawa motion lacks language about communicating the urgency for change to the federal and provincial governments, as well as to city residents.
The group also demands that governments act immediately to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025. Ottawa’s motion only calls for the city to adopt a target of a 45 per cent reduction in 2010 levels by 2030.
Extinction Rebellion’s third core demand is the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly to lead decision-making and inform the government on climate and ecological justice. While the Ottawa motion calls for the establishment of a Council Sponsors Group, there is no clear indication of how the broader public would be able to meaningfully participate in this process.
What should the Council Sponsors Group, as created by the Ottawa motion, demand?
- The City of Ottawa should commit to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, a key demand made by Extinction Rebellion.
- The City of Ottawa should commit (as the City of Vancouver is considering) to a target of two-thirds of trips in the city to be taken by walking, cycling, and public transit by 2030.
- Given that transportation accounts for more than 30 per cent of Ontario’s carbon footprint, the City of Ottawa should commit to improving public transportation across the city and piloting free public transit (as has been considered in other international cities, including Bonn, Essen, Herrenberg, Reutlingen, and Mannheim).
- Given Ontario Premier Doug Ford has just cancelled the 50 Million tree planting program, the City of Ottawa should commit to an ambitious tree planting program. Paris committed to planting 20,000 trees between 2014 and 2020.
- The City of Ottawa should endorse (as Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and numerous other cities have already done) the international Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration that pledges to enact regulations and/or planning policy to ensure new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030 and all buildings by 2050.
- The City of Ottawa should explore innovative ideas being pursued by other cities including: green streets and pocket parks to catch and absorb excess rainwater (Copenhagen), initiatives to support energy-efficient retrofits (Melbourne), and the promotion of local food production (Quito has set a goal of producing 30-40 per cent of its food locally).
- To pay for some of this, the City of Ottawa should send a climate accountability letter to Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and other fossil fuel corporations to demand they pay their fair share of the costs that cities are incurring because of climate change. The City of Victoria’s motion on this (passed in October 2017) called on other municipalities across Canada to pass similar resolutions.
It is also vital that the City of Ottawa find its voice on the issue of the approval and construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure. MORE
Doug Ford’s program of death by a thousand cuts just included cutting a program to plant 50 million trees. Extreme neoliberalism has found a home in Ontario. Ontario apparently is no longer ‘a place to grow’ –not trees at any rate. To voice your protest, a list of Ontario MLAs is found HERE
(Photo: Getty Images)
TORONTO — Ontario is cancelling a tree planting program, with those involved warning the move will lead to the loss of jobs and environmental benefits that forests provide.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry told Forests Ontario the day after the Progressive Conservative government delivered its budget this month that the 50 Million Tree Program was being eliminated.
Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario, said since 2008 more than 27 million trees have been planted across Ontario through the program, which saved landowners up to 90 per cent of the costs of large-scale tree planting.
It was started as a carbon sequestration program, Keen said, but planting that many trees also helps clean the air and water, protect shorelines and reduce erosion.
About 40 per cent forest cover is needed to ensure forest sustainability, Keen said, and the average right now in southern Ontario is 26 per cent, with some areas as low as five per cent.
The program’s annual budget was about $4.7 million, Keen said, and Forests Ontario was told it was being cancelled as a way to cut provincial costs.
“Premier (Doug) Ford wants to reduce the deficit and this was…something they thought was expendable,” Keen said. “We certainly recognize that with climate change coming it’s going to be more important than ever to have healthy, contiguous, large forests to be able to mitigate climate change and certainly adapt to climate change.” MORE
This posting is a teaser to get you to read the common sense, realistic plans Vancouver is making in the full article. It contains all sorts of initiatives that the Prince Edward Council should be considering. If you wish to send an email to all Members of Council as a group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coun. Christine Boyle’s motion last January declaring a climate emergency has set the stage for dramatic recommendations from Vancouver city staff.
…Vancouver city council will deal with two major staff reports focusing on greenhouse gas emissions.
The first includes recommendations on the city’s response to a “climate emergency”, which was declared in January by council.
It’s hard to underestimate the impact that this report could have on the city and possibly other countries in the years to come….
Local governments can change the world. That’s been seen in everything from antismoking efforts to cannabis regulation to the peace movement to the trend across the globe to viewing drug addiction as a health issue.
In all four of these areas, Vancouver was a leading player in North America, just as it has been in responding to climate change.
Local actions can persuade senior governments to follow because municipalities are often hothouses for innovation. And this has also been the case with climate change.
Witness the role that municipal governments, including Vancouver, had in strengthening the backbone of world leaders to set hard limits in the Paris Agreement of 2015.
“In Canada and around the world, there is a growing movement of hundreds of local governments recognizing the emergency that climate change represents, accelerating their own actions, and calling on provincial/state and national governments to ramp up their responses,” the city report states. “Given the world’s increasingly urbanized population is on the front lines of the fight against climate change, the world’s urban population will disproportionately experience the effects of global warming.”
The city report recommends six “Big Moves”, which will be voted on by council. Below, I’ve listed them, as well as their implications for city residents. MORE
“Canada is not a country that follows the rule of law. Canada makes and breaks laws to suit its own economic and political interests, which run counter to those of Indigenous peoples. It is time to be honest about it, and call out Canada as an outlaw, and take action to support the Wet’suwet’en Nation, who have occupied their lands since time immemorial.” – Prof Pam Palmater
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes flowery public speeches about respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples and reassures the international community that there is no relationship more important that the one with Indigenous peoples, Canada invaded sovereign Wet’suwet’en Nation territory. When questioned about this aggressive move at a Liberal fundraiser in Kamloops, British Columbia, he responded: “No, obviously, it’s not an ideal situation… But at the same time, we’re also a country of the rule of law.”
Canada’s invasion of Wet’suwet’en territory through its national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), is an example of the blatant violation of the rule of law in favour of corporate interests. Canada has consistently failed to follow the rule of law when it comes to Indigenous peoples, and the violent arrests of the Wet’suwet’en people at the Gidimt’en checkpoint, set up in support of the Unist’ot’en homestead, is a glaring example of Canada’s lawlessness.
The people of Wet’suwet’en Nation, as represented by their traditional government, have long asserted their sovereign jurisdiction over their Nation’s lands which span about 22,000 square kilometres in northwest British Columbia. These lands have never been ceded, nor have their rights to use, manage, protect or govern these lands been extinguished in any way. The Nation has never signed any treaty or constitutional agreement that has specifically surrendered their sovereignty as a Nation. While there have been many federal and provincial laws that have interfered with First Nation laws in general, there has never been an explicit extinguishment of Wet’suwet’en laws and jurisdiction over their Nation’s sovereign territory. Their land rights are not only recognized in Canada’s Constitution Act, 1982, but they are also protected in numerous international treaties and declarations, like the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). In other words, there was no legal basis for Canada to invade their territory. MORE