Perhaps the Ontario Conservative Government Could Use A Lesson in Investment From Warren Buffet

“Buffet- backed firm plans US $200-million wind farm”

Image result for white pines wind farmWhite Pines Wind Farm, Prince Edward County ordered removed by Ford Government at a possible cost to taxpayers of an estimated $100 million.

This article [see link below] referencing investment by billionaire Warren Buffet in the growing wind and solar energy sector in Alberta should be for all of us yet anther example of the botched job the Ontario Conservative government is doing of positioning Ontario for a healthier environmental future. Whether the environment, healthcare or education they don’t seem to be able to do anything right!

When they came to power in 2018 one of the first of the environmental projects they cancelled was a wind project in Prince Edward County that had been under development for 10 years, having met all necessary legal obligations. It was nearing completion of construction with 5 of the 9 turbines already up and in place. At the time it was suggested that the cancellation could cost taxpayers in excess of $100 million! Not to mention there has never been a situation anywhere in the world where wind turbines have been dismantled once up and in place. With all the attention on healthcare and education concerns I often find myself wondering how many Ontario taxpayers have realized what has gone on with this particular environmental decision.

Despite the attempts of countless individuals and groups over the past year to produce petitions, present factual information, write letters and plead with their MPP’s and government officials to reconsider their decision, the dismantling of this project was slated to commence this week.

How ironic to be reading this article about Warren Buffet’s investment in the future in the same week the cranes and dump trucks are starting to roll in to start dismantling the WPD Wind Project. Shame on our Ontario Government and their short-sighted view of the world and poor ability to invest wisely in our future.

Carol Cooke, Ottawa

Berkshire Hathaway firm announces launch of $200-million Alberta wind power farm

Wind project cancellation deals a blow to Ontario’s business reputation
Ford government’s plan to cancel wind project could cost taxpayers over $100M, company warns
John Ivison: Wind turbine decision says Doug Ford’s Ontario is closed for business

Upcoming national election is crucial for Canada’s energy sector

Ontario – Energy and the environment is arguably the key policy area that will decide the election—and most agree the outcome of the vote will, in turn, be crucial for Canada’s energy sector.

Image result for alberta tar sands pipeline

In Alberta, political differences have become personal, particularly after the 2014 crash in petroleum prices. And while a CBC poll tracker shows the opposition Conservatives holding a slim lead over the ruling Liberals – neither is projected to win a majority government.

But in Alberta, a Tory landslide is predicted, with the Conservatives holding a nearly 45 percent lead over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. After the 2015 national election, Alberta was already feeling the effects of the turn-down in oil and gas prices from the previous year. Unemployment in the province was 10 percent.

“I think the federal government has a specific hate on” for Alberta, Robyn Moser says, according to The Guardian. “We have a federal government that wants to choke the Alberta economy for its own political reasons.” She is referring to Trudeau, who has tried to walk down the middle of the road, playing to both sides of the climate issue and Alberta’s failing energy sector.

Conservative candidate Andrew Sheer at a gathering in Langley B.C. this week.

Conservative candidate Andrew Sheer at a gathering in Langley, B.C. this week. Andrew Sheer
Oil sands very existence is on the ballot

While Trudeau and his supporters argue that Canada can become a global oil superpower and a leader in fighting climate change – his main challenger, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, accuses Trudeau of abandoning a pipeline through British Columbia, failing to push through another line to Canada’s east coast and passing a law that they say will make major energy projects impossible to approve, reports BNN Bloomberg.

And voters have not forgotten a comment Trudeau made at a town hall meeting back in 2017 when he said the country “needed to phase out the oil sands.”

“Do we want our energy industry to be a global player, or do we want our industry to go into hibernation and we’ll just slowly shut it down?” Derek Evans, chief executive officer of oil-sands producer MEG Energy Corp., said in an interview. “That’s the point we’re at.”

Athabasca oilsands in Alberta Canada.

Athabasca oilsands in Alberta, Canada.
Howl Arts Collective (CC BY 2.0)

It is true that the region around Fort McMurray contains the world’s third-largest crude reserves, but to get the thick bitumen to market requires pipelines, and that is a contentious subject in today’s world of environmental awareness. With limited pipeline capacity, discounts to Canadian oil, and delays to projects like TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline, the future is not looking good.

Trudeau did not win friends or influence people when his government ended up buying the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline that was being held up with legal challenges, protests and a British Columbia government pledging to block its construction. The only thing to come out of this move was that Trudeau earned the nickname “Justin Crudeau.”

Naomi Klein, the prominent Canadian writer, and activist said the purchase highlights the “utterly hypocritical” position Trudeau has taken since coming to power, allowing the oil sands to expand while claiming to make Canada a climate leader.

Green Party Canada


We’re the only party standing firmly against any fossil fuels.

In a climate emergency, that’s the only position endorsed by science. 

Green Who Wants to Abandon Oil May Be Canada’s Next Power Broker

Elizabeth May has been the lone green voice in Canada’s legislature for most of the eight years since she became her party’s first elected member of parliament.She may soon have more company. Polls…

How will the vote go?

It will be a close race and as the polls suggest, Canada could very well end up with a minority Liberal government. Even so, there will be seats for the environmentally-minded Green Party and the New Democratic Party – and this could end up being bad news for oil sands advocates.

Green leader Elizabeth May sees the election as a referendum on climate and Canada’s last chance to take the lead in fighting climate change. “We can’t negotiate with the global atmosphere to say, ‘We need a bit more time,’” said May, whose campaign platform displays a photo of her being arrested protesting against the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Karel Mayrand, the director of the David Suzuki Foundation for Quebec and Atlantic Canada, a non-profit environmentalist organization, says “You could say ‘Alberta can export its oil, and Quebec can export its electricity and everyone shakes hands. But the problem is that for a growing share of the population, in Canada as well as in Quebec, accepting this means throwing all of Canada’s climate goals out of the window.” SOURCE

‘Our future is at stake’: Greta Thunberg tells climate rally in Edmonton

‘We aren’t doing it because it’s fun … We are doing this because our future is at stake’

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg spoke to hundreds of climate activists at a rally at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on Friday. (Manuel Carrillos/CBC)

By foot, by bus and by truck, thousands of Albertans made their way to the provincial legislature grounds in Edmonton, drawn by a 16-year-old Swedish girl who is trying to convince governments to take action on climate change.

Wearing a turquoise parka, environmental activist Greta Thunberg marched among the hundreds of people along several major downtown Edmonton roads, ending at the Alberta Legislature where hundreds more were waiting to greet her.

Among the crowd were more than 100 people who set out early in the morning from Calgary to show up for the Fridays for Future rally, the climate strikes that originated with Thunberg and have spread around the world.

As Thunberg took the podium, she noted that it seemed like the rally had greatly exceeded that target.

“Today is Friday,” Thunberg said early in her remarks. “And as always, we are on climate strike. Young people all around the globe are today sacrificing their education to bring attention to the climate and ecological emergency.

“And we are not doing this because we want to. We aren’t doing it because it’s fun. We’re aren’t doing it because we have a special interest in the climate or because we want to become politicians when we grow up.

“We are doing this because our future is at stake.”

Hundreds of activists, along with some supporters of Alberta’s oil and gas industry, gathered at the legislature. (Peggy Lam/CBC)

The event included prayers, passionate speeches from Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, and a performance by Chubby Cree, an Indigenous hand drumming group.

Thunberg gave a special shout-out to the young and Indigenous leaders at the rally, saying “you are the hope.”

Her speech touched on many of the themes she is known for: the need to heed science, the need for developed countries — like Sweden and Canada, she said — to lead the way in reducing their emissions to allow developing countries a chance to heighten their standard of living, and the desperate need to do things quickly.

“We need to start treating this crisis as a crisis,” she said. “Because you cannot solve an emergency without treating it as one.”

“And if you think we should be in school instead, then we suggest you take our place in the streets. Or better yet, join us so we can speed up the process.” MORE

Justin Trudeau is a fake progressive. Now Canada must vote for real ones

Ahead of Monday’s election, little divides the Liberal prime minister and the reactionary Conservatives. But there is an alternative

 ‘Trudeau promised big but delivered small.’ Justin Trudeau at a campaign rally in Montreal, October 2019. Photograph: Valerie Blum/EPA

How far Justin Trudeau’s star has fallen. In 2015, the rise of this hopey-changey wunderkind was supposed to usher in a bold new Canadian era: democratic reform, ambitious climate action, a plan to tackle inequality, and a new, respectful relationship with Indigenous peoples. But his Liberal party’s bid for re-election, ahead of the election on Monday, looks altogether different: this campaign is dominated by warnings, in ominous tones, about the threat posed by a resurgent, rightwing Conservative party.

 Canadian elections: can Justin Trudeau hold on to power? – video explainer

But if Canadians want the kind of country that reflects their progressive views, the choice in this election is clear: vote for the NDP. The overlooked story of the election is the surge in the party’s popularity, which has come at the expense of both the Liberals and Conservatives – and in spite of the media’s efforts to write it off.

Under the leadership of Jagmeet Singh, the NDP has finally halted its right-ward slide – which allowed Justin Trudeau to outflank it to the left in 2015 – and is offering its most progressive platform in a generation. State-funded dental care and prescriptions, 300,000 green jobs and free public transit, paid for by a wealth tax on the ultra rich: the sort of the ambitious leftwing policies that polls consistently show Canadians are hungry for.

In an age of turmoil, it is this kind of politics, rather than establishment Liberalism, that can hope to stem the tide of an increasingly xenophobic right. Pervasive insecurity and discontent in Canada, fundamentally unaddressed by Liberal policies, have been capitalised on by rightwing politicians to scapegoat migrants and Muslims – followed closely by openly white supremacist groups, whose numbers have nearly tripled since Trudeau came to office. This week’s endorsement of Trudeau by Barack Obama underscores the dynamic: both are defenders of a bankrupt, corporate-friendly centrism that has demonstrated it is no match for rightwing faux populists such as Donald Trump. This is what gives the ultimate lie to the promise of “strategic voting”. The politics of the Liberals aren’t a lesser evil – they are the surest path to greater evil.

The only answer to a rising right will come from a left courageous enough to take on vested interests, rather than the vulnerable – and to redistribute obscene levels of private wealth in the service of the public good. The NDP is not going to win this election. But if Canadians elected enough of its MPs, a minority Liberal government might be forced to rely on the party to pass legislation: this would provide powerful leverage in parliament to push for vital new social programs and a transformative approach to the climate crisis, with social movements pressuring from the outside. Universal healthcare, public pensions, the 40-hour work week, same-sex marriage: all were won under previous minority Liberal governments when the NDP held the balance of power. But for that to become possible after Monday, it will take voting from hope, not fear. In this election, Justin Trudeau isn’t Canada’s real progressive choice – nor the politician to stop the rise of an ugly right.



Seven centuries before Confederation, there was the Haudenosaunee Confederacy

The confederacy of six First Nations has worked for hundreds of years to create and sustain the common good — through a process in which “everyone has a voice”

white pine
The white pine is symbol of the unity of the six nations that make up the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. (Wikimedia Commons)

To read this article in Mohawk, click here

“We have governed ourselves, as Haudenosaunee people or Iroquoian people, since August 31, 1142,” says David Newhouse, an Onondaga member of the Six Nations of the Grand River and chair of the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, at Trent University. “That was the date of the first meeting of the confederacy.”

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy — called the Iroquois Confederacy by the French and the League of Five Nations by the British — brought together the Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca, Cayuga, and Oneida after a period of war between the nations. Tuscarora Nation joined in 1722.

According to oral tradition, the confederacy was formed by a Huron man who convinced the nations to put down their weapons and bury them under a tree, later known as the Great Tree of Peace, planted at the Onondaga Nation. Among the nations, this man came to be known as the Peacemaker.

“He created a council that consists of representatives from each of the five nations,” says Newhouse. “There was a series of 50 representatives, 50 chiefs who came together in council to talk about events, issues that affected all of them, and they attempted to create a common good. They worked according to a document called the Gayanashagowa, which in English translates to the ‘Great Law of Peace.’”

The criteria for becoming a chief in the confederacy, according to the Great Law of Peace, include patience, honesty, thick skin, tenderness, and the ability to deliberate calmly and to be a mentor and spiritual guide. A chief must also be a member of the longhouse and a fluent speaker of one of the nation’s languages.

An 1885 English translation of the law, by farmer and Onondaga chief Seth Newhouse (David’s great-grandfather), states that “their hearts shall be full of peace and good will and their minds filled with a yearning for the welfare of the people of the Confederacy.”

In Haudenosaunee tradition, women select leaders, identifying promising young men who could become chiefs and young women who could become clan mothers and then mentoring them in the language and customs. “The great law is problematic, in one sense,” Newhouse says, “in that women cannot become chiefs … when we think in the 21st-century feminist lens, then it doesn’t fit.”

Consensus plays a vital role in Haudenosaunee governance. The women in the clan agree on whom to put forth, and then the men are given a chance to voice any concerns. If those concerns are found to be valid, the women decide together on another candidate. Once the clan is in agreement, they consult with their nation. Only then is he condoled by the confederacy.

“Everyone has a voice in our process,” says Kanonhsyonne Jan Hill, associate vice-principal of Indigenous initiatives and reconciliation at Queen’s University and “seat warming” clan mother in the Turtle Clan of the longhouse at Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. “When we meet as women, all the women have a voice, and when we stand that man up in front of the men, all the men have a voice from youngest to oldest — everyone.”

Newhouse says the Canadian government imposed the elected band council system on the Six Nations of the Grand River community in 1924.

“The government called in the RCMP and locked the council-house door and forced elections,” Newhouse says. “That removed the chiefs from any position of governance authority at Six Nations, and Canada would only deal with the elected council. They didn’t stop the confederacy from existing, but they didn’t have any power in the Canadian governance system.”

The imposition of the European electoral process came through a piece of 1869 legislation called “An Act for the gradual enfranchisement of Indians,” which stated that “the Governor may order that the Chiefs of any tribe, band or body of Indians shall be elected by the male members of each Indian Settlement of the full age of twenty-one years.”

The Indian Act later laid out requirements for the composition of the band council: “[it] shall consist of one chief, and one councillor for every one hundred members of the band, but the number of councillors shall not be less than two nor more than twelve and no band shall have more than one chief.”

“The longhouse people” — such as those who occupy the Haudenosaunee Confederacy council — “are the signatories to any agreements and treaties, not the band council,” says Hill. “Basically, what the longhouse has said is that the band council is an arm of the Canadian government, and they’re in place to administer the policies and the funding that comes from Indian Affairs, but they can’t go against Indian Affairs policies.”

The 50 spots that make up the council consist of nine chiefs from the Mohawks, nine from the Oneida, 14 from the Onondaga, 10 from the Cayuga, and eight from the Seneca. Just 37 of those positions are currently filled.

“The biggest reason is that we can’t identify men with the qualities and qualifications,” Hill says. “We just have to find people who are willing to do the work, who are of good quality and good character.” SOURCE

Doug Ford government started work on cuts to Toronto City Council a day after election win

Mr. Ford made the bombshell announcement that the province was halving the number of Toronto’s wards in the middle of the subsequent municipal election campaign in late July, 2018. TOM THOMSON/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Ontario government bureaucrats began working on reducing the size of Toronto City Council less than 24 hours after Premier Doug Ford won the provincial election last year, despite his Progressive Conservative Party not raising the idea during the campaign.

Documents obtained by The Globe and Mail reveal that bureaucrats quickly started researching cutting the number of Toronto city councillors – timing that suggests the move was an undisclosed top priority for the newly elected Premier.

Mr. Ford made the bombshell announcement that the province was halving the number of Toronto’s wards in the middle of the subsequent municipal election campaign in late July, 2018. Toronto launched a legal challenge, which it lost on appeal last month but plans to ask the Supreme Court of Canada for permission to appeal the decision.

Don Peat, a spokesman for Mayor John Tory, said the mayor continues to oppose the provincial government’s actions, calling them “unfair, unnecessary and unprecedented.”

Julie O’Driscoll, a spokeswoman for Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark, did not address questions related to the timing of work to cut Toronto city council.

“We were elected on a promise to reduce the size and cost of government and to end the culture of waste and mismanagement; we acted quickly to do just that,” Ms. O’Driscoll said in an e-mail.

On the morning after the election, Mr. Ford announced that his transition team had “already hit the ground running as we prepare to form government.” The government was officially sworn in three weeks later.

Mr. Ford’s surprise move to cut Toronto city council to 25 wards from the planned 47, which was not part of the PCs’ election platform and did not come up on the campaign trail, was widely criticized as overstepping. Mr. Ford, a one-term former Toronto city councillor who has railed about political gridlock at city hall, lost the 2014 mayoral race to Mr. Tory.

“I think this timing only reinforces the fact that the move to slash city council in half in the middle of an election was a political decision,” said Michal Hay, executive director of Progress Toronto, an activist group.

An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that the government’s intervention was unconstitutional in September, 2018, but the Court of Appeal granted the province’s request to put the ruling on hold pending a final decision. The municipal election proceeded with Mr. Ford’s 25-ward map last October. MORE