Phasing out dirty coal was smart. Stalling on climate action is not

Sweden has shown, Minister Phillips’ assertion that there is a trade-off between reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and growing our economy is simply not true. 

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The Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid minivan is manufactured in Windsor, one of only two EVs made in the province.

We can address the climate crisis and keep our economy humming by pursuing three smart actions:

1. Keep Premier Ford’s promise to reduce our electricity costs by 12% by buying Quebec water power and investing in energy efficiency to make increasing use of zero-emission electricity cost effective.

2. Direct Enbridge Gas and Union Gas to ramp up their energy efficiency programs to reduce our natural gas costs by $85 billion and lower our natural gas-related GHG emissions by 18% by 2030.

3. Develop a strategy to make Ontario a world leader in the development, production and sale of electric vehicles.

MORE


 

Here’s what climate change could look like in Canada

‘This is real on-the-ground stuff that is costing us right now,’ says one expert


The City of Toronto set up seven cooling centres during this summer’s heat wave, including one at Metro Hall on July 4, 2018. (Bruce Reeve/CBC)

Climate change is here, experts say, and Canada can expect to suffer the consequences.

The effects of a warming planet are going to be felt from coast to coast to coast. And, if we stick to a “business-as-usual” scenario — no change to our emissions — it’s going to happen a lot sooner than scientists initially thought, according to a recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. MORE

A year of wild weather: Environment Canada releases the Top 10 weather stories of 2018

From B.C. fires to flooding in New Brunswick, no region was spared from extreme events

But people are most likely to remember the raging wildfires that consumed British Columbia, the number one story on the list.

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Though the fire season had a late start, by Aug. 15, the province had issued a state of emergency as 566 fires had ignited. And they just kept on going. MORE

 

 

Courts should not have to decide climate change policy

Canada shouldn’t wait for the courts to litigate climate action. Only collaborative policy-making will deliver the rapid and systemic changes we need.

wo years ago this month, Canada appeared to finally have a pan-Canadian climate plan. Although Canada came late to the game, almost 25 years after it signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC), and although the plan is imperfect, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change represented a beginning capable of progressive improvement over time.

But that path now seems like a distant memory. The anti-carbon tax ideology that Maclean’s magazine branded “the resistance” (taking considerable flak for doing so) has sent us off in a new direction — one that will keep us mired in conflict and costly litigation. Climate policy-making in Canada has once again ground to a halt. Litigation as politics by other means is poised to take over. MORE

Former Indigenous chief Isadore Day heads First-Nations-focused cannabis magazine

Former Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day and his company Bimaadzwin have launched a new online magazine, Growth and Prosperity, which will be themed around First Nations and cannabis issues.

Image result for isadore dayDay is known for lobbying the federal government to provide First Nations with a share of the 10% excise tax that the federal government levies on cannabis sales. Provinces are provided with 75% of that money while the federal government takes the rest.

The Assembly of First Nations in 2017 struck a committee, led by Day and Quebec Regional Chief Ghislain Picard, with the aim of ensuring that First Nations have sufficient resources to adapt to cannabis legalization, and any resulting health, social, and economic issues. MORE

AFN national chief says senators should not be ‘afraid’ of Indigenous rights bill

Perry Bellegarde wants speedy passage of 2 major bills set for introduction in January

 

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde said Conservative senators should not be “afraid” and pass an NDP private member’s bill to harmonize Canada’s laws with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Bill C-262, introduced by NDP MP Romeo Saganash, is currently in second reading before the Senate.

Bill C-262, introduced by NDP MP Romeo Saganash, is currently in second reading before the Senate. MORE

Oil sands ‘Big Five’ making billions despite oil price crash and pipeline delays

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Despite the 2014 oil price crash and the ongoing hand-wringing over pipelines and the price of Canadian heavy oil, a new study from the Corporate Mapping Project shows the reality is that the Big Five oil sands producers have remained incredibly profitable corporations.

The study, released in November by the Parkland Institute and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office, finds that Suncor, CNRL, Cenovus, Imperial, and Husky banked or paid out to shareholders a total of $13.5 billion last year alone. These big five oil sands corporations produce 80% of Canada’s bitumen. MORE

The great nutrient collapse

The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention.


Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is reducing the protein in staple crops like rice, wheat, barley and potatoes, raising unknown risks to human health in the future. | Getty Images

IN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, it’s been understood for some time that many of our most important foods have been getting less nutritious. Measurements of fruits and vegetables show that their minerals, vitamin and protein content has measurably dropped over the past 50 to 70 years. Researchers have generally assumed the reason is fairly straightforward: We’ve been breeding and choosing crops for higher yields, rather than nutrition, and higher-yielding crops—whether broccoli, tomatoes, or wheat—tend to be less nutrient-packed….

As best scientists can tell, this is what happens: Rising CO2 revs up photosynthesis, the process that helps plants transform sunlight to food. This makes plants grow, but it also leads them to pack in more carbohydrates like glucose at the expense of other nutrients that we depend on, like protein, iron and zinc. MORE

B.C.’s electoral reform vote fails

B.C.’s voting system will not change, Elections BC announced Thursday.

B.C.’s voting system will not change, Elections BC announced Thursday.

In the electoral reform referendum 61.3 per cent of voters voted to stay with B.C.’s current first-past-the-post electoral system, while 38.7 per cent of voters backed proportional representation.

A total of 1,403,358 votes were received, representing 42.6 per cent of registered voters, Elections BC said.

When the results are broken down by electoral district, it’s clear that Vancouverites and people on Vancouver Island supported proportional representation, while those in other areas of the province did not. For example, 74 per cent of ballots returned from Vancouver- Mount Pleasant were in favour of pro-rep. In the West End, 61 per cent were in favour and in Point Grey, 52 per cent were in favour. In most parts of Surrey, less than 30 per cent were in favour.   MORE

Vaughn Palmer: B.C. voters decide against Horgan’s ‘leap of faith’ as proportional representation bites the dust


Premier John Horgan and B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver following their speeches at a rally in support of proportional representation. CHAD HIPOLITO / THE CANADIAN PRESS

VICTORIA — Premier John Horgan tried to stack the referendum deck in favour of proportional representation, believing it would improve the chances of another term of “progressive” NDP government in partnership with the Greens. MORE

BC Says No to Proportional Representation

Some 61.3 per cent of voters opt for current electoral system.

Unlike past referenda on electoral reform, this one became partisan. The BC Liberals opposed the change while the NDP and Greens campaigned in favour. MORE