Canada Invests in Clean Energy Solutions in Nova Scotia

DARTMOUTH, NSMarch 3, 2020 /CNW/ – Canada is helping to build the low-carbon economy. That is why we are investing in the development of new and innovative technologies that will help us fight climate change, boost the economy and create good jobs for Canadians.

Darren Fisher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today highlighted the government’s commitment to help the concrete industry improve its competitiveness while reducing pollution.

CarbonCure Technologies Inc., of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, has been selected to receive over $2 million in investment for its patented technology that enables concrete producers to use unwanted carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions taken out of the atmosphere to produce low-carbon concrete.

With global emissions from the construction and concrete industries estimated to rise, CarbonCure’s technologies have the potential to reduce global CO2 emissions by 500 megatonnes annually. That would be equivalent to taking 150 million cars off the road.

Recently announced at GLOBE 2020, CarbonCure was one of the winners of the Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada (BESC) initiative. Launched under a new stream of NRCan’s Energy Innovation Program in partnership with Breakthrough Energy and the Business Development Bank of Canada, BESC is a first-of-its-kind public–private initiative in Canada aimed at accelerating the development of clean energy technologies with the potential to substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

By demonstrating Canada’s commitment to accelerating clean energy innovation through model partnerships and investments, the Breakthrough initiative is poised to position Canada as a leader by enhancing the pace and scale of clean technology that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Founded in 2007, CarbonCure is a world leader in CO2 utilization technologies for the cement and concrete sector. Its technologies are being used by producers in hundreds of concrete plants across North America and Southeast Asia. Its innovation and strong, expanding suite of commercialized technologies have also earned it the Cleantech Group’s “North American company of the year” award in 2020.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada understands the importance of innovation as we move toward a low-carbon future. By investing in companies like Dartmouth’s CarbonCure, we are working to achieve our goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 while keeping our economy competitive.”

Darren Fisher
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, and
Member of Parliament for Dartmouth–Cole Harbour

“We are very pleased to receive this investment to expand our suite of carbon utilization solutions for the concrete industry, which have saved more than 58,000 tonnes of carbon emissions to date. CarbonCure will continue to develop its suite of cleantech solutions that permanently remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere and reduce the embodied carbon footprint of the built environment. By investing in scalable, cost-effective, carbon-reducing innovations like CarbonCure, Canada will be well positioned in the new low-carbon economy, where there doesn’t have to be a trade off between the environment and economy.”

Jennifer Wagner
President, CarbonCure Technologies

Related Information
Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada 
CO2 Utilization in Concrete: a new circular economy model
CarbonCure Technologies Inc

SOURCE

Did I make a huge mistake swapping my car for this e-bike?

Image result for ebike rider canada

Q. Dear Umbra,

I just sold my car and bought an electric bike instead. But how environmentally friendly is an electric bike after all?

— Why Has Everyone Evangelized Lithium-Ion Engines?

A. Dear WHEELIE,

There are few absolutes in the world of environmentally conscious options — no perfect solutions, no unassailable superlatives. Once you start to analyze the various water, mineral, and carbon impacts of every decision you make in your day, you might very well come to the conclusion that you are better off sitting very still and trying not to breathe that much.

Transportation and diet, however, are probably the two main areas in which your daily decisions actually do make a significant difference — which is why I and every other climate-anxious person are out here trying to persuade you to drive less and eat less meat. The reasons to do so are straightforward: It takes a lot of energy and resources to make and operate a car (that’s physics!) or to quickly fatten up a cow to optimal meat-producing size (that’s biology!).

But slightly less straightforward is the question of what the best substitute would be for, say, our carbon-intensive car habit. Just because four wheels are bad, does that make two electrified wheels good? Is an e-bike more “environmentally friendly” than just walking (or riding) around on your own human legs? After all, there’s all the additional metal and water and carbon emissions that are required to put together and maintain an e-bike. And of course, e-anythings require battery components such as lithium, which is an ethical and ecological mining nightmare.

Then again, would you use your own human leg power to travel a distance of, say, 30 miles round trip per day? Doubtful — which is part of the reason people like yourself are discussing e-bikes as a more carbon-conscious alternative to cars!

Christopher Cherry, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, told me over the phone that “e-bikes are really among the most energy-efficient motorized mode of transportation out there. There’s really no other vehicle that has the same low level of energy requirements as an e-bike.” That has to do with the relative efficiency of electricity-powered motors, the fact that bikes are much lighter than cars (less mass to move!), and the fact that electric grids in the United States are slowly but surely becoming greener.

And Project Drawdown, the research organization studying the most effective ways to bring down carbon emissions, points to greater adoption of electric bikes as a transportation shift that could have a greater climate impact than ramping up high-speed rail or telecommuting — though not nearly as much as ramping up public transit.

There’s also a kind of wild argument that e-bikes actually can be more resource-efficient than regular bikes, if you’re a person who eats a lot of meat. Bear with me for this one: Let’s say you’re just pounding steaks and then burning those calories by surging up and down hills on a conventional bicycle. It’s possible that if the carbon emissions of your prodigious food consumption will exceed those associated with the electricity required to keep an e-bike running, since you’ll need to eat more to account for your analog workout. (Of course, this theory stops making sense if you’re a vegetarian or don’t eat much meat at all.)

E-bikes are definitely more efficient than cars — even electric cars; they require fewer materials to make and about a tenth as much energy to operate, according to data that Cherry shared with me over the phone. So if you replaced every car trip you took with a jaunt on an electric bike, it would reduce your energy footprint more effectively than replacing half your car trips with a regular bike.

Another hypothetical: What if you had just held on to your (presumably) ancient car, trying to minimize its carbon footprint per use as much as humanly possible, just biding your time until the engine literally fell out of the car? It gets a little complicated, because ancient cars are generally not nearly as fuel efficient as their modern counterparts. In fact, the emissions per mile of driving that car would pretty quickly catch up to the manufacturing emissions of an e-bike.

I’m sure this is all good news, WHEELIE, given that you have already replaced your car with an electric bike. Good on you, pal! But there’s still the potential to screw up the benefits of your new purchase, despite your good intentions.

Let’s say in a month or two you start to have some doubts about this whole e-bike thing. You feel self-conscious around all the fixie-riding assholes who glare at you when you pass them on hills — look, sorry — or you worry too much about leaving your expensive steed locked outside the bar, and insist on always getting a seat by the window so you can watch it. It makes you look kind of weird on dates. So you start thinking that maybe this was a bad idea.

Soon you start taking Lyft or Uber or what-have-you to the bar — and ride-hailing, it turns out, is even more of a climate nightmare than regular single-passenger cars — and you get out of the habit of biking around and your shiny e-bike sits sad and mostly unused in the front hall. And you feel too guilty looking at it, so you get rid of it. In real life, it’s very unlikely that you would throw it away because e-bikes are expensive and desirable on the secondhand market. But I don’t know, just for the sake of imagination, let’s say you had a self-loathing meltdown and chucked it into the dumpster behind your apartment building. We all suffer from extreme feelings and do crazy things sometimes! (I, for one, once hurled a gift from a college boyfriend out of a fourth-floor window across the quad after we broke up. That was not responsible disposal, but I was really angry!)

Dumping lithium-ion batteries in the landfill is a real hazard because they’re known to start literal garbage fires. But the bigger issue to me, as I’ve said a thousand times, is that all the resources that you fretted over going into your e-bike in the first place will have gone to full waste.

I’m not saying this will happen to you, of course. Instead, think of this as a cautionary tale against good intentions without follow through. The best way to make something you own or something you use as environmentally conscious as possible is to use it a lot — as long as its per-use emissions are negligible, or at least significantly less than its alternative.

So congratulations on your purchase. As long as you actually ride it around, you’re doing amazing.

Circularly,

Umbra

SOURCE

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Canada has enough pipelines to circle the globe several times. Can they ever be incident-free?

Report into B.C. pipeline explosion shows some of the same problems that led to Kalamazoo River spill

Pipeline construction on the Trans Mountain expansion project in B.C. There is enough pipeline in Canada to circle the globe multiple times. (Trans Mountain)

Energy companies should invest more of their profits in safety inspections and replacing aging infrastructure, says the former chair of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

Jim Hall spoke to CBC after the Transportation Safety Board of Canada revealed that a pipeline explosion near Prince George, B.C., in 2018 was the result of undetected stress cracks on an aging section of pipeline owned by Enbridge.

The damage went undetected in part because the pipeline’s operator, a subsidiary of Enbridge, postponed an inspection for several months before the blast happened, forcing more than 100 people out of their homes.

“An accident like this should not be happening,” said Hall, who chaired the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board from 1994 until 2001 before starting a safety consulting firm.

“Industry has got the technology, and they have the tools. The bottom line is, are the companies investing in the necessary infrastructure and improvements, or are they putting the profits in their pocket?”

A large fireball was seen rising into the sky from Shelley, B.C., a small community about 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George. (@Dhruv7491/Twitter)

The explosion report was released in the midst of a high profile conflict over pipelines in Canada, following weeks of rallies and blockades in support of a group of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs fighting the construction of a new natural gas pipeline in northern B.C., as well as the ongoing dispute about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Meanwhile, about 45,000 kilometres of gas pipelines — enough to circle the entire globe — continue to operate in the province, providing heat and fuel to homes and businesses throughout B.C. and parts of the United States.

That figure, provided by B.C.’s Oil and Gas Commission, is just a small portion of the more than 840,000 kilometres of pipelines transporting oil and gas across the country.

For proponents, this vast network shows how safe and reliable the pipelines can be. But for those opposed, the explosions, ruptures and leaks are a reminder of what they’re fighting to prevent.

The safest way to transport oil and gas?

Elder Clifford Quaw first encountered pipeline technology when he encountered a construction crew on his Lheidli T’enneh reserve near Prince George in the 1960s.

“We just watched them. Next thing you know, there’s a pipeline across the Fraser River and it’s been there ever since,” said Quaw, 71.

The pipeline crossed the water on a bridge painted red and white, like a candy cane. Quaw and his childhood playmates considered it so benign, they used it as a play structure — running and clambering over the large gas pipe and climbing the bridge’s towers.

Elder Clifford Quaw remembers the first pipeline built through his Indigenous community in the 1960s. As a child, he and his friends played on this pipeline bridge across the Fraser River. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers calls pipelines the “safest and most efficient way to move large volumes of oil and natural gas,” with a long history of operation across the country.

According to Natural Resources Canada, 99.999 per cent of oil transported by federally-regulated pipelines in the country is delivered safely. Meanwhile, B.C.’s Oil and Gas Commission says the number of pipeline incidents in the province has steadily decreased as the number of lines increases.

Clifford Quaw, a Lheidli T’enneh elder, used to play atop the pipeline built through his community in the 1960s. (Betsy Trumpener/CBC )

But that record doesn’t mean there aren’t risks. The 2018 explosion near Prince George, for example, occurred on the same pipeline Quah played on as a child. He recalls seeing fire shoot into the sky out his kitchen window.

“It was like the world’s biggest blow torch,” he said. “There it was, a big ball of flame. And heat.”

Now, after five decades of living with the pipeline, the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation has filed a lawsuit demanding it be removed from their land.

Similar issues in Prince George, Kalamazoo

Nobody was injured in the Prince George blast, but that wasn’t the case 10 months later when an Enbridge-owned gas pipeline in Kentucky exploded, killing one and sending six others to hospital.

Hall said both events are reminders of the high stakes if problems aren’t detected ahead of time.

In this Aug. 1, 2019 photo provided by Naomi Hayes, a fire burns after an explosion near Junction City, Ky. An Enbridge-owned regional gas pipeline ruptured, causing a massive explosion, killing one and injuring at least six others. (Naomi Hayes via The Associated Press)

 

And while the cause of the Kentucky blast has yet to be determined, the root problems leading to the Prince George explosion mirror those behind the July 2010 Kalamazoo River spill in Michigan.

In the Michigan case, in which 3.2 million litres of heavy crude leaked into the water, investigators determined the Enbridge-owned pipeline likely ruptured as a result of “corrosion fatigue cracks that grew and coalesced… under disbonded polyethylene tape coating.”

Likewise, in the Prince George explosion, investigators found the rupture was caused by “stress corrosion cracks” that “eventually coalesced into a larger single crack.” The report also found the “polyethylene tape coating applied to the exterior surface of the pipe… deteriorated over time.”

A worker monitors the water in Talmadge Creek in Marshall Township, Mich., near the Kalamazoo River as oil from a ruptured pipeline, owned by Enbridge Inc, is vacuumed out of the water in 2010. (Paul Sancya/The Associated Press)

 

Though the products in the pipelines differ — unlike oil, natural gas tends to quickly dissipate in the case of a leak — Hall said both incidents could be traced to operators failing to detect problems in aging infrastructure.

“Why are we wasting money investigating these things over and over again if the companies are not going to make the necessary investments to prevent the events from occurring?” he asked.

‘Very frustrating’

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said it had investigated three other incidents similar to the Prince George explosion since 2001: a 2002 rupture and fire near Brookdale, Man., a 2009 rupture, fire and explosion near Swastika, Ont., and a 2011 rupture, fire and explosion near Beardmore, Ont.

All three of those incidents were along lines owned by TransCanada, the company behind the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Cam Spady, who helps run a pipeline integrity company based out of Calgary, said every time an undetected problem manifests itself as an explosion or fire, it sets the entire industry back.

“It makes getting new pipelines built extremely difficult,” he said. “It is very frustrating.”

Although Spady and Hall said the safety record for pipelines is strong when measured against their sheer volume, they also believe it is necessary for companies to eliminate accidents altogether.

“It’s an achievable goal,” Spady said. “Corrosion doesn’t happen overnight, stress cracking like that isn’t overnight.”

A pipeline crosses the Pine River in northeastern B.C. (Betsy Trumpener/CBC)

 

Spady said more frequent inspections paired with new technology and methods to detect and predict problems would put a zero-incident rate within reach. Hall agrees.

‘No incident is acceptable’

The Canada Energy Regulator (formerly the National Energy Board, which oversees pipelines) said it has not issued any fines to Enbridge because of the Prince George explosion, but it “will not hesitate to take enforcement actions or impose safety measures, if required.”

In a written statement, the regulator outlined the work it is doing to evaluate the safety of the pipeline, and said it is always finding new ways to hold industry accountable.

“Along with making sure companies are following the rules, we have to find ways to push the boundaries of what the federal regulator can do to help keep energy moving safely,” the statement said, adding that it continuously experiments with new technology and data analysis to help predict risks, and it expects companies to do the same.

For its part, Enbridge said it is committed to learning from every incident, and has made changes to its operations as a result of the Prince George explosion, including more frequent inspections, updating its modelling system for predicting stress cracks, and re-inspecting “virtually all” of its B.C. pipelines.

Likewise, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association told CBC, “No incident is acceptable.”

In an emailed statement, the organization said, “We won’t be happy until we reach our goal of zero incidents. We aren’t there yet.”

The Canada Energy Regulator (formerly the National Energy Board) regulates more than 73,000 km of pipeline throughout Canada. (Canada Energy Regulator)

The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission regulates 39,315 kilometres of natural gas pipeline. Another 5,047-km stretch of an interprovincial gas pipeline through B.C. is regulated by the Canadian Energy Regulator, formerly the National Energy Board. (BC Oil and Gas Commission)

Alberta should leave Canada if ‘absolute necessities’ not met, Brian Jean says

Former Wildrose Party leader advocates for Premier Jason Kenney to take demands to Ottawa

Brian Jean led Alberta’s Opposition as Wildrose Party leader and ran to lead the United Conservative Party when his party merged with the PCs in 2017, losing to now-Premier Jason Kenney.

One of Alberta’s most prominent conservative voices and a former leader of the province’s opposition is calling on Ottawa to acquiesce to a series of demands — or risk separation.

Brian Jean was the former leader of the Wildrose Party before it merged with the Progressive Conservatives in 2017 to create the United Conservative Party, losing the leadership race to Jason Kenney.

Jean has stayed largely out of provincial politics since then, denying rumours in 2019 he might soon return.

But the former Fort McMurray-Conklin MLA, in a column posted by the Edmonton Journal Saturday, calls for four “absolute necessities” from Ottawa — and stresses if those demands aren’t met by Canada, then Alberta should leave.

“I believe, right now, that most Albertans believe that Canada is broken,” Jean said in an interview with CBC News. “There are some fundamental problems with our Confederation, with our country, and Albertans, for the most part, want to fix it.”

Brian Jean   @BrianJeanAB


My latest. If Premier Kenney can’t get a deal from Canada Alberta should leave. https://twitter.com/edmontonjournal/status/1236278155025027079 

Edmonton Journal @edmontonjournal

Brian Jean: How Kenney can help fix a broken country https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/brian-jean-how-kenney-can-help-fix-a-broken-country?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1583586522 

Those necessities, as outlined by Jean, include some familiar echoes to measures currently being studied by Alberta’s “fair deal” panel, which is due to present its recommendations in less than a month.

In all cases, Jean advocates for implementing constitution changes — four “fundamental things” that he feels most Canadians will agree with:

    • Changing Canada’s constitution to “require that every province is being treated fairly and equally.”
    • Requiring the House of Commons or the Senate to have true representation by population.
    • Establishing an amendment that would prohibit the federal government from passing a law that would impact one province without majority consensus of the MPs and senators of that province.
    • Require the constitution to state that no province can prevent any province “to have access to tidewater or trade with the rest of the world.”

While Jean said he is “not a separatist,” he said he believed Albertans have reached a breaking point.

“I think it’s fair to say if you’re in a marriage where one spouse is continually abusive to the other, that you should look for a better place to be if they’re not going to listen to reason,” Jean said. “No one should stay in an abusive relationship. Right now, the majority of Albertans believe it is somewhat of an abusive relationship.

“Certainly, a good portion of them believe it is unfixable.”

Throwing support behind Kenney

The person best suited to bring these demands to Ottawa, Jean said, is Kenney — a notable suggestion considering the checkered history between the two men.

In February 2019, Jean demanded Kenney retract statements that claimed all campaigns operated voting stations, declaring that his team “never cheated.”

Leaked internal UCP documents obtained by CBC News in March 2019 revealed that the leadership campaign of Jason Kenney collaborated with fellow candidate Jeff Callaway’s campaign during the 2017 leadership race, targeting Jean’s campaign.

“Premier Kenney, in my mind, is one of the staunchest Canadian federalists in the scene, and politically, is best positioned to represent us in constitutional discussions right now,” Jean said.

Asked why now he is throwing his support behind Kenney, Jean said he couldn’t think of anyone better positioned for the task.

“He’s been a former federal cabinet minister for 10 years,” he said. “He is very well positioned to know exactly any movement that could be taken by the federal government or other provinces, and I would believe he would be successful in arguing that position.”

When asked whether he would run himself in a scenario where Alberta separated from Canada — or support Kenney or someone like Wexit Leader Peter Downing — Jean said “it’s up to the people.”

“Right now, I have a lot of family responsibilities. But I recognize, living in Fort McMurray and in spending time in other great cities in Alberta, that there are other people very serious about this movement, such as Mr. Downing and others,” he said. “Sooner or later, if it’s not solved … then someone will rise.”

Column is ‘grossly problematic,’ professor says

Melanee Thomas, an associate political science professor at the University of Calgary, said though she recognizes some Albertans are frustrated, that is not the same thing as “federation being broken.”

“I think that this column is grossly problematic … I’ve been candid on the public record that what I’ve been seeing since the middle of the federal election to now are certain political elites in Alberta working really hard to stoke a particular form of angry alienation,” Thomas said. “I think it’s irresponsible because it doesn’t actually match a lot of things that we’re seeing in terms of public opinion.”

Thomas also took issue with Jean referring to Alberta as an “unappreciated colony” in his column.

“When we’re talking about colonialism, we need to be very careful in Canada that we use the correct reference, and the reference in this case would be to Indigenous people,” she said. “There is nothing in Alberta’s experience with federation that merits the use of the term ‘colony.’

“It’s usage in this case is completely racially tone-deaf in terms of what actual colonialism looks like.”

She added that entrenched constitutional law is extremely difficult to change, so Jean’s confrontational approach is unlikely to pay dividends.

“If this is actually about amending the constitution, the audience needs to be other Canadians. I don’t think that these kinds of approaches show Alberta in a productive light, where other Canadians can be confident that we’re actually going to be sensible negotiation partners,” Thomas said.

“I think it’s a reasonable question for Albertans to ask, ‘Why are these political elites working really hard to make us angry at the federal government?'”

Equalization issues

In his column, Jean cites the “more than $20 billion we contribute to equalization annually while [Canada] simultaneously [seeks] to prevent our future prosperity.”

Calgary economist Trevor Tombe said that though Jean references equalization multiple times in his column, each time, “he does so in error.”

“[He] repeats some broadly held but incorrect beliefs about how the program works and who funds it,” Tombe said. “For example, the very opening line of the piece notes that Alberta contributes $20 billion into the equalization program, but that’s simply not the case. The entire national program is only $20.6 billion this year.”

Tombe said Alberta taxpayers pay more in federal revenue than is received in the form of federal spending in the province, but that is a consequence of high income levels that exist in Alberta.

“Alberta pays about 17 per cent of the federal budget in recent years, but its roughly 17 per cent of the Canadian economy for most federal revenue, because it is tied to income through income taxes or sales taxes,” he said. “It naturally results in higher income individuals paying more, and Alberta is home to more higher income individuals than most other provinces.”

It’s undeniable that there is some real frustration in Alberta, Tombe said, but he’s not sure Jean’s column helps that case.

“There are some important policy issues around pipelines in particular, they have raised a lot of concern and is the subject of legitimate debate,” Tombe said. “But if he’s going to invoke misleading and outright false statements around how equalization works or how federal transfers work or who pays the federal budget in general, that’s not helpful.” SOURCE

How the Trudeau government is failing the world’s most vulnerable despite its ‘feminist’ aid policy

Feminist International Assistance Policy is meant to support economic, political, social empowerment

Arrested Rohingya women leave a court near Yangon, Myanmar, on Feb. 21. A month earlier, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Myanmar to take urgent measures to protect its Muslim Rohingya population from persecution and atrocities, and preserve evidence of alleged crimes against them. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

On International Women’s Day, it’s critical to reflect upon the Canadian government’s failure to properly support some of the most marginalized people in our global society: stateless Rohingya women.

Since its launch in 2017, the Trudeau government has promoted its “Feminist International Assistance Policy,” aimed at supporting the economic, political, and social empowerment of women and girls. Yet despite providing aid funding, the government has displayed woefully inadequate action in the context of the Rohingya genocide and refugee crisis.

It has been two and a half years since 800,000 Rohingya fled genocide in Rakhine, Myanmar, at the hands of the state military. Today, tens of thousands of displaced Rohingya people remain stateless, traumatized, and rely on humanitarian aid to live in the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Many are barred from obtaining employment, and have limited mobility or educational opportunities within the camps.

And the Rohingya crisis is a gendered crisis – 60 per cent of the refugees are women and children. Human Rights Watch reports that rape was used as a systematic weapon of war against women by the Myanmar military to incite terror and drive Rohingya families into exile while their villages were destroyed.

Rohingya women and girls now face a new set of insecurities related to their safety and future in the Bangladesh refugee camps. Adolescent girls who do not have the opportunity to attend school or work are at risk of being forced into early child marriage or victimized by human trafficking. Facing severe security risks in the camps, women often stay in their small huts and engage in care work.

In researching the conditions Rohingya women and girls face in the refugee camps and how aid is being provided, we found that many individuals in the non-governmental organization (NGO) community view gender-based considerations to be non-essential. Some aid officials believe that factoring in notions of gender when implementing programs detracts from providing life-saving assistance for the overarching population.

Consequently, many current humanitarian aid projects fail to address the underlying physical and mental trauma that Rohingya women have faced due to military persecution and additional traumatization in refugee camps.

Young people sell goods on a bridge in a Rohingya refugee camp on Jan. 23 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

 

The stark reality is that as a result of their age, gender, statelessness, and religion, Rohingya women and girls have faced extreme trauma and violence. Thus, when being supported by the international development community, it is crucial that considerations of gender are mainstreamed across all aid interventions. For instance, health care services are often extremely limited, and fail to address the systemic concerns of dehumanization, sexual violence, family planning and more. Rohingya women also resort to negative coping mechanisms and are drawn into exploitative labour practices when they lack proper education and employment opportunities in the camps.

One may argue that in a crisis situation there is a requirement to provide life-saving aid first. However, whether providing food, education or health care, catering to gender and providing life-saving aid must not be seen as incompatible.

Of particular concern, we believe, is the fact that some humanitarian organizations draft proposals that appear to be gender-sensitive, but in the long run, these gendered considerations are not implemented.

Lack of proper planning and oversight is at the root of the problem. Canada is the fifth-largest single country donor to the Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis in Bangladesh. Yet despite its “feminist” international assistance policy, Canada is failing to ensure that the millions it is investing in humanitarian aid effectively addresses the basic needs of women and girls.

Women wait for treatment outside a hospital in a Rohingya refugee camp on Jan. 23 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

 

Fundamentally missing is Canada’s role in creating accountability mechanisms that ensure women and girls are centred in all the humanitarian assistance projects it collaborates in and funds. Without this oversight, these projects risk being unsustainable and inaccessible to Rohingya women who desperately need them.

And while Canada purports to champion a feminist strategy, it has also done little so far politically to support Rohingya women and girls.

In recent weeks, smaller states like Gambia and Maldives have filed accusations of genocide against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Although Canada has recognized the atrocities in Myanmar as constitutive of genocide, it has not engaged with any fervour to spearhead such accusations in the international sphere.

Gambia’s case allowed for provisional measures, taken last month, to prevent the genocide of the remaining Rohingya in Myanmar. The actions of the Maldivian and Gambian governments, and the ICJ’s approval of the probe, may allow the implementation of the UN Genocide Convention, which would catalyze criminal proceedings against Myanmar.

The International Court of Justice has ordered Myanmar to protect its Muslim Rohingya population from persecution and atrocities. 1:14

However, Myanmar’s compliance has now become a topic of concern. While the court has no enforcement power, any member of the United Nations, and thus Canada, can request action from the Security Council based on its rulings. Keeping in mind that Justin Trudeau recently toured Africa seeking UN votes for Canada to take a position on the Security Council, it would be interesting to see this same zeal applied to exploring how the Rohingya can be protected by the international community.

Canada, a founding author of The Responsibility to Protect, could defend the Rohingya from the risk of genocide by using this same doctrine, for example. It allows states to intervene in other countries to protect populations at risk of genocide.

Similarly, Canada could employ principles of non-refoulment entrenched in international law, which prevents states from displacing specific populations to regions where their safety is at risk — a real fear of many Rohingya women.

It is imperative that the concerns of Rohingya women and girls, and the daily realities they face, are acknowledged and used to shape the principles of forthcoming Canadian aid and foreign policy. Without these considerations and political action, Canada continues to be complicit in the ongoing repression of the Rohingya people.

The Trudeau government’s feminist policy will remain empty words until the mechanisms for humanitarian accountability and its international policies effectively empower the women and girls they claim to support.

SOURCE

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In celebration of International Women’s Day: some thoughts from the late Polly Higgins

INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day (IWD) is being celebrated around the world today, as people come together to champion the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality.

To mark this special day, we are sharing an extract from a forthcoming book by Stroud eco warrior Polly Higgins.

The award winning author, barrister and international ecocide law advocate sadly passed away last year, at the age of 50.

Polly had been campaigning to make ecocide an international crime and had launched a push for businesses to be made liable for any harm they do to the environment.

Her new, and final, book, Dare To Be Great, is being released this April.

And publishers The History Press have kindly released this short extract from the book – some thoughts from Polly – to share on International Women’s Day:

“So, here is my commitment: I dare to be great in my lifetime and I dare to share what I learn with you,” Polly wrote.

“It may be a journey that is fraught with difficulties, but my commitment is to continue, no matter what.

“By sharing what I experience I hope to inspire you to do the same; it is also a way of passing on a legacy to the future.

“I choose to do this in the public realm, so that I can speak publicly about what I learn and I say this: I embrace a world of abundance and love.

“I am fearless (sometimes) and am at peace (most of the time).

“I am empowering the flow of funding into a world where the wellbeing of people and planet come first.”

Polly was voted one of the World’s Top 10 Visionary Thinkers by the Ecologist, ranked as No.35 in Salt magazine’s Top 100 Inspiring Women of the world list and dubbed The People’s Lawyer.

The book’s being released on 10th April but is available to pre-order now through all good bookshops at £7.99.

Glass: Canada’s crisis rooted in 500-year-old doctrine

In 1483, a pope penned a document that would justify taking lands of those seen as inferior

Students walk out of classes in solidarity with Indigenous land defenders in Edmonton on Wednesday. (Postmedia file photo)

The protests and blockades spreading across Canada since the new year in support of Wet’suwet’en land rights have kindled a wide-ranging sense of national crisis.

Manufacturers have complained that rail line blockades brought production to a standstill. Conservative politicians have sounded alarms of domestic terrorism, while their supporters advocate calling out the Armed Forces.

In November, British Columbia approved legislation to harmonize provincial laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Although the B.C. legislature’s efforts may bear fruit in addressing the deep-seated Indigenous concerns that reached this national flashpoint, a related — and perhaps preliminary — issue needs the public’s consideration.

That issue stems from the quill of Renaissance-era Pope Alexander VI, who crafted what scholars refer to as the “doctrine of discovery,” his too-clever solution to an ongoing conflict between Spain and Portugal over “lands newly discovered.” In 1493, Alexander divided the administration of the Americas into two halves; a western half for Spain, an eastern half for Portugal.

In agreement with one of his predecessors, Nicholas V, Alexander declared that Christian powers could rightfully explore, settle and appropriate wealth from the lands of peoples who were then known as Saracens (Muslims), infidels and savages.

These declarations were hotly contested by other European kingdoms at the time. For the Spanish theologian and lawyer Francisco de Vitoria, the pope was mistaken in thinking his declarations could grant sovereignty in the new world to Spain. England’s Henry VIII and the Holy Roman Empire’s Charles V argued popes had no such authority over the new world, but kings did.

Whichever the route, by the mid-16th century European powers understood themselves to have an inherent right to extend their sovereignty over lands their explorers had claimed on the basis of “discovery.”

Although complexities of Renaissance theology, law and politics may seem remote from us, the doctrine of discovery is not remote at all. It remains the legal foundation of modern states such as Canada, the U.S. and Australia. North American courts have long employed it to articulate why European powers had a legitimate claim to their newly discovered lands.

If we follow the paper trail of our law, the bottom layer is the still-breathing-after-all-these-years doctrine of discovery.

The core of this doctrine, as U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall concluded in 1823, is that the “character and religion of the (new lands’) inhabitants afforded an apology for considering them as a people over whom the superior genius of Europe might claim an ascendancy.” Marshall’s claim that Indigenous character and religion are sufficient proof to justify the appropriation of Indigenous lands and the regulation of Indigenous lives is often acknowledged by American courts, legislatures and presidents. A recent example: in 2005 Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg held that discovery was still a determining factor in the court’s dismissal of an Oneida Nation plea to exclude its recently repurchased traditional lands from municipal property tax in Sherrill, N.Y.

Canada’s courts have invoked the doctrine of discovery since the foundational case of St. Catherine’s Milling and Lumber v. the Queen (1885-88). As well, Marshall’s work was incorporated into the Canadian common law to consider the “beneficial use” of Treaty 3 lands in northwestern Ontario. The B.C. Court of Appeal explicitly drew on it in its 2013 decision, Chief Mountain v. British Columbia. The court acknowledged Marshall’s work was still “possibly persuasive authority.”

But Canada’s most common reliance on discovery occurs in the simple phrase, widely proclaimed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2004 decision in Haida Nation v British Columbia (Minister of Forests), that the purpose of recognizing “Aboriginal and treaty rights” is to reconcile Indigenous communities’ long residence on the land with the “assertion of Crown sovereignty.” What else other than the doctrine of discovery bolsters this assertion? It’s simply a polite way of referring to the acts of men such as John Cabot, Jacques Cartier and George Vancouver, who climbed out of boats, planted flags and crosses, and made assertions.

The elephant in the room of Canadian sovereignty is this: How does one party’s “assertion” necessarily require another party to submit to that assertion? Canada’s exclusive sovereignty over Indigenous lands and lives rests solely on an inherited belief in the deficiency of Indigenous “characters and religion.” This is not that different from the most basic assumption animating other assertions of sovereignty that Canadians rightfully hold in contempt: Aryan supremacy, American Jim Crow, South African apartheid.

If Canada’s assertion of sovereignty over Indigenous peoples is rooted in such noxious legal ideas, it is far past the time to renounce them formally and explicitly. If Canada’s Liberal federal government meant anything it said about undertaking a new relationship with Indigenous communities, surely renouncing the doctrine of discovery would be a meaningful initial step.

If harmonizing UNDRIP with Canadian law is to be a worthwhile process, it would make sense to renounce the idea that still undergirds many Canadian perspectives, and that will cause much resistance to UNDRIP’s successful implementation. SOURCE

Opinion: Sask. teachers call for colleagues to speak out about Wet’suwet’en

Some people feel uncomfortable with the idea of teachers taking sides on political issues … we say that is a misunderstanding of the curriculum, writes a group of educators.

Community members gather along train tracks by 20th Street and Ave J in Saskatoon in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en land protectors on Feb. 24, 2020. MATT SMITH / SASKATOON STARPHOENIX

This open letter is written by Saskatchewan school teachers concerned about the current events on Wet’suwet’en territory. It contains our own views and ideas and in no way represents any school boards or education institutions. 45,000 teachers in B.C. have already declared their support for the Wet’suwet’en Nation. We call on teachers in Saskatchewan to join our B.C. colleagues by sharing this letter, attending solidarity actions in Saskatchewan, and demanding Canadian governments respect Wet’suwet’en sovereignty.

In Saskatchewan we teach about treaty history and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Sometimes our students ask, “We get it, what happened in the past was terrible — why do we need to learn about it over and over again?”

Our response is this: Wet’suwet’en rights are being ignored. This is exactly why we have to learn about treaty relations and truth and reconciliation. Colonialism is not a thing of the past. It is happening right now on Wet’suwet’en land. In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Aboriginal sovereignty on Wet’suwet’en land has never been ceded. This means the Wet’suwet’en have the right to decide whether or not a pipeline will be built on that territory. And the Wet’suwet’en have not consented. Forcibly removing peaceful land defenders from their traditional unceded lands is in violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (B.C. recently passed a bill stating that they would honour this declaration).

The band councils, who have agreed to the pipeline, were established under the Indian Act; they only have authority over reserve lands. The hereditary chiefs on the other hand are the keepers of traditional law over the entire territory. They have not agreed to the pipeline, and their right to withhold consent is binding on Canada.

To teach our students the importance of good relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, we believe teachers need to speak out about the current Wet’suwet’en injustice.

Some people feel uncomfortable with the idea of teachers taking sides on political issues; that there’s no place for activism in education. We say that is a misunderstanding of the curriculum, the teaching profession and the potential of public education. The job of teachers is not just the academic growth of students, technical delivery of curriculum, job training or university prep. The job of teachers is also to work for justice.

Our curriculum encourages us to teach about social justice and social responsibility. It says that we should teach students to “contribute to their physical, social and cultural environments,” and “participate with others in accomplishing common goals,” and “have the ability to initiate or participate in social action.” So, inside the classroom, there is a strong argument that it’s good for teachers to encourage activism. Beyond that, teachers need to show our students what it looks like when informed adults act on their knowledge. We need to model how to participate in social action for decolonization. We need to stand with the Wet’suwet’en until our society gets to a place where they have an equal, nation-to-nation voice on what happens on their land.

Just to be clear, we are not asking for teachers to protest pipeline development, but that we stand-up for Indigenous sovereignty and together call on our governments to respect Indigenous land title.

Therefore, as teachers we call on the RCMP to withdraw from Wet’suwet’en territory without preconditions and on the governments of Canada and B.C. to respect Wet’suwet’en consent. Furthermore, we call on our fellow teachers to watch out for announcements of public solidarity actions in your community. These meetings/actions can help us educate ourselves on this topic. If 20 of us show up, we’ll have a strong show of solidarity. If 100 of us show up, we’ll begin to show our students that we’re serious about honouring treaties and practicing truth and reconciliation, not just talking about it. SOURCE

Recognition of title rights ‘still a struggle’ for First Nation after court win

VANCOUVER — As members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation mull a draft deal over rights and title, another Indigenous community knows what that kind of recognition could look like.

The Tsilhqot’in Nation, representing six First Nation communities with a common culture and history, is the only Indigenous group to win recognition of its Aboriginal title to a specific area of land through Canada’s highest court.

But Tribal Chairman Joe Alphonse said despite the Supreme Court of Canada ruling six years ago, the federal and provincial governments still have a hard time discerning what that means.

“It’s still a struggle for governments to figure out how to deal with us.”

The decision said the Tsilhqot’in have lived and roamed for centuries in a remote valley bounded by rivers and mountains in central B.C.

Unlike other parts of Canada, much of the land in British Columbia has never been ceded through treaties and the court said the Tsilhqot’in were among hundreds of Indigenous groups in the province with unresolved land claims.

The case followed a 1983 decision by the B.C. government to grant a commercial logging licence on land considered by the Tsilhqot’in to be part of their traditional territory. The First Nation objected and sought a logging ban.

Talks with the province reached an impasse and the original land claim was amended to include an additional claim of Aboriginal title to the land at issue, a move opposed by the federal and provincial governments.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court of Canada found the Tsilhqot’in successfully proved title by showing regular and exclusive use of the claim area, and B.C. had breached its duty to consult them. It recognized Aboriginal title in five per cent of what the First Nation considered its traditional territory, while protecting rights like fishing, harvesting and trapping in the broader claim area.

Alphonse said the ruling gave the Tsilhqot’in special jurisdiction.

“I think having title puts us in a unique situation, I think that’s a big club to carry in a negotiating room,” he said.

But since the ruling, Alphonse said the federal and provincial governments have still sometimes failed to recognize the First Nation’s authority.

He gave the example of record-breaking wildfires in 2017 and the conflict that unfolded as Tsilhqot’in members, including 400 trained firefighters, defied an evacuation order to fight the blazes.

Alphonse said the federal and provincial governments failed to acknowledge the First Nation’s jurisdiction and expertise.

Months later, the First Nation signed a unique agreement with both levels of government recognizing it as a full partner in wildfire response. In announcing the agreement, B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser said the government heard “hard truths” about the institutional racism First Nation members said they experienced.

The Tsilhqot’in spent more than two decades fighting to get title over their land in court, a costly barrier to many First Nations that want to stake similar claims.

But the escalation of the Wet’suwet’en situation shows how reluctant governments have been to recognize title outside the courts, Alphonse said.

Before the Tsilhqot’in decision, Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan hereditary chiefs also fought for title recognition in Canada’s highest court in a case the Tsilhqot’in relied on as precedent.

In the 1997 Delgamuukw decision, the Supreme Court recognized the existence of Aboriginal title as an exclusive and ancestral right to the land but fell short of setting the boundaries over where the title applies. The judges suggested negotiations could be a better way to resolve some of these outstanding questions, but those discussions did not move forward.

From Alphonse’s perspective, the lack of movement to recognize title has been a mistake.

“The sooner Canada quits fighting and resisting Aboriginal title, the sooner they can start getting things done,” he said.

Vancouver lawyer Sam Adkins said with only a small number of court decisions on Aboriginal title, there remain many unanswered questions about what it means in practical terms.

“We don’t know yet how Aboriginal title will affect, if at all, private property interests,” he said, citing one example.

There are a number of cases making their way through the courts that raise the issue. The Cowichan Tribes have an active claim to an area in the city of Richmond that would affect about 200 landowners, while the Haida are claiming title to all of Haida Gwaii, he said.

At this stage, the courts have declined to include those private property owners in the litigation until title is proven.

The cases highlight that in discussions over Aboriginal title rights and consent, those issues don’t exist in a vacuum, Adkins said.

“On the Lower Mainland, there are millions of non-Indigenous people who live here but we’re on unceded Coast Salish territory, we acknowledge that at every hockey game now. So there’s a conflict that exists,” he said.

Indigenous groups like the Wet’suwet’en have “what are almost certainly real rights on the ground,” but they may come into conflict with what the public or courts determine to be a broader public interest, like the economic growth promised by the pipeline, he said.

“I think if anything, if there’s a positive thing that comes out of this, I think there will maybe be a better understanding of how difficult and complex these issues are.”

Adkins has represented resource clients including LNG Canada, the massive project that includes the Coastal GasLink pipeline planned through Wet’suwet’en territory, but he said he was not speaking on behalf of those clients in an interview with The Canadian Press.

In Delgamuukw, he noted the judges said the exclusive land rights could be infringed upon in certain justified cases, including the economic development of British Columbia and the protection of endangered species.

But it’s also unclear how the courts will strike that balance, he said, adding that politics can play a role in shaping societal opinion on what’s appropriate.

“We don’t really know yet what that balance is going to look like but we know the court will balance those interests,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2020.

SOURCE

Indigenous protests exposed tensions behind Canada’s tranquil image

Thousands took to the streets of Toronto on Feb. 22 to protest a gas pipeline in British Columbia

Led by hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en indigenous band, thousands took to the streets of Toronto on Feb. 22 to protest a gas pipeline in British Columbia.   (Richard Lautens / Toronto Star)
For weeks, indigenous Canadians blocked passenger and freight trains. They made it impossible to travel by rail from Montreal to Toronto. They disrupted the movement of grain, construction materials and propane gas in Western Canada. More than 1,000 rail employees were laid off. Food rotted. Calls for military intervention filled the air.

The target of their ire: a natural gas pipeline that would run 416 miles from northeastern British Columbia to the Pacific Coast.

This week, the Canadian Supreme Court declined to hear several appeals related to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which would cut across traditional lands of the Wet’suwet’en community. The nation’s hereditary chiefs said they never approved the project and have objected to its potential impact on the land, the water and their community.

For now — following a tentative agreement, details of which remain murky — the blockades have come down. Trains are running again.

It appears that the pipeline project will go ahead, but the protests have severely tested Canada’s political system. They have exposed the contradictions in this vast nation’s relationship to its aboriginal people — a history that includes broken promises and treaties, wide disparities in education and healthcare, and decades of privations, abuses and insults.

The protests have also eroded Canada’s long-cultivated sense that it was a place of civility, civic accommodation and compromise.

That ethos dated to at least 1904, when Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier told an audience at Toronto’s Massey Hall that “for the next 100 years, Canada shall be the star towards which all men who love progress and freedom shall come.” Lately, that star seems to have dimmed as Canada grapples with its past; fends off secession threats from Quebec and, more lately, Alberta; and struggles to balance regional and federal governmental powers.

“For long periods of time, Canada goes along in relative peace, and then there are occasional periods, maybe once in 10 years, when a confluence of forces make Canada look like a hard country to govern,” said Paul Thomas, a political scientist at the University of Manitoba. “We always think that at least we don’t have American divided government, but this has been a hard time, one of extreme events and destabilization, and it has tested Canada.”

The crisis demonstrated that modern Canada — with its trendy urban centers in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, its vast energy resources, and its shimmery international reputation as a trusted interlocutor and vanguard of peacekeeping — still faces strains and vital questions about its civic ideals, political identity and national character.

The questions begin with the nature of its political structure and the powers inherent in the office of the the prime minister.

In Canada, provincial leaders wield powers that national leaders might otherwise claim. This country in some respects resembles the United States before the Constitution, when, under the ill-fated Articles of Confederation, it had a weak executive and strong roles for the states. Canada’s provinces have powers that in many developed nations are conferred to the national government.

Just as the United States has experienced periods of weak presidential rule (during Reconstruction after the Civil War, for example) to periods of the imperial presidency (in the Nixon years, for example), Canada has experienced both with its leaders.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the father of the current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, exercised enormous power, especially in the October Crisis of 1970, when he limited civil liberties following the bombing of mailboxes and the kidnapping and killing of Quebec’s deputy premier by the nationalist Quebec Liberation Front. In contrast, in the latest crisis, the younger Trudeau ruled out calling in the army, pleaded for patience, expressed outrage, described the situation as “unacceptable“ — and accomplished little.

If nothing else, the crisis underlined the younger Trudeau’s lack of power to compel the protesters to desist and underlined the limits of his office.

At the same time, the crisis focused attention on longstanding questions of the place of the indigenous in Canadian life and culture.

Though both the United States and Canada have trampled on treaties, mounted attacks on native people and suppressed the culture of the original settlers of the North American continent, these matters are of far greater visibility in Canada.

Bob Joseph’s 2018 examination of the Indian Act of 1876 — “21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act” — became a best-seller here, a notion inconceivable below the border; in its pages, he argues that “there was a foregone conclusion that Indians would simply die out, cease to exist, thereby absolving the government of any financial responsibility and giving clear access to the lands reserved for Indians.”

While these issues are seldom front-burner concerns in the United States, Canada a dozen years ago created a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine the relations between whites and Natives, especially the residential school system where Native children were taken away from their parents, abused and had their cultures sublimated.

The result of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a 94-point checklist of tasks to ameliorate the legacy of Canada’s treatment of indigenous people. Many of these tasks have not been addressed. And while Trudeau made justice for indigenous people a prominent part of his 2015 campaign, his unmet promises fueled the frustration of tribal activists and leaders — frustration that was stoked by plans to traverse the lands of the Wet’suwet’en indigenous band in northwestern British Columbia.

“As Wet’suwet’en, we are the land, and the land is ours,” Frank Alec, a chief who goes by his hereditary indigenous name Woos and who was speaking for eight such hereditary leaders, told reporters early this month in Smithers, British Columbia.

The recent crisis shined a searing light on divisions between Native activists, who fueled the controversy, and traditional tribal leaders, some of whom were skeptical of the strategy and tactics behind the protests. It was the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs whose negotiations with government leaders began the long process of breaking the impasse that brought commerce and travel to a near-standstill in many parts of the country.

The crisis grew out of opposition to a natural gas pipeline project to cross the traditional territory of Wet’suwet’en and spawned broad protests against pipelines in general. Protesters blocked traffic in Kahnawake south of Montreal, marching with a banner proclaiming, “Protect our future. No more pipelines.”

The British Columbia pipeline swiftly became a proxy for broader grievances held by indigenous peoples, including generations-old resentment about the seizure of Native lands for Canadian railroads. It also focused attention on the next Canadian stress point: the role of energy in the country’s economy.

Canada is the world’s fifth-largest energy exporter. It provides more than 11% of the country’s gross domestic product, accounts for $10.5 million (U.S.) in government revenues and affects about 820,000 jobs in a nation of only about 38 million people, according to Natural Resources Canada, a federal agency. Some 60% of Canada’s energy production comes from oil, natural gas and coal.

As a result, energy policy is a major issue in a country where concern over global warming is far more prominent than it is in the U.S.. Environmental activists oppose pipelines out of fears of leaks and express continuing concern that greenhouse gas emissions result from the extraction of the Alberta oil sands.

Trudeau spent $3.45 billion to purchase Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and then approved its expansion, a move that failed to mollify his critics in Alberta even as it outraged his putative environmental supporters. Last month, Teck Resources canceled its Frontier project in northern Alberta, which its supporters said would produce more crude than the African nation of Gabon, a major exporter. These two actions raise questions about the future of the energy business in a country where that sector accounted for about a quarter of total exports in 2018. Some 89% of Canada’s energy product exports went to the United States.

For now, rail transport, commerce and pipeline construction have returned to normal. But the episode has displayed the frays in Canada’s sense of normalcy. This conflict may be close to being settled, but the country is left with the unsettling feeling that more conflict lies ahead. SOURCE

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