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Showing posts from March 31, 2014

Foreign workers come third in federal accord to help LNG industry, Clark says

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[All the risk re: labour is being shifted to the Canadian tax payer, where it does not belong. In addition, if we cannot possibly find enough locals - and it is perfectly unclear that this is true - we should bring in immigrants, not temporary workers. *RON*]
By Shawn McCarthy, Ottawa — The Globe and Mail, Monday, Mar. 31 2014

The federal and B.C. governments have reached an accord on skills training and immigration that Premier Christy Clark says will help spur development of LNG plants in the province by keeping a lid on labour costs.

Premier Clark travelled to the national capital on Monday with a delegation of business and First Nations leaders, as well as a quarter of her cabinet, to highlight the potential that the production and export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has for her province and for the country as a whole. In a reception for Conservative MPs and other federal officials, she said the nascent LNG industry could rival Alberta’s oi…

The hellish monotony of 25 years of IPCC climate change warnings

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[The latest blockbuster United Nations report on the impacts of climate change makes dire reading, just as the first one did almost a quarter of a century ago. *RON*]

Graham Readfern, The Guardian, March 31, 2014
Entire island nations "rendered uninhabitable", millions of people to be displaced by floods and rising seas, uncertainties over global food supplies and severe impacts on human health across the world.

The news from the United Nations on the likely impacts of climate change is dire, especially for the poorest people on the planet.

There will likely be more floods, more droughts and more intense heatwaves, says the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

As human emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise, natural ecosystems come under extreme stress with "significant" knock-on effects for societies.

"Changes in the availability of food, fuel, medicine, construction materials and income are possi…

Petition signed by thousands of British Columbians demands repeal of new parks bill

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[Environment minister says people should be assured that new laws, which open doors to pipelines in parks, don't open doors to pipelines in parks. *RON*]

By Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver Sun, March 30, 2014

Tens of thousands of people have signed an online petition asking the provincial government to repeal a bill changing how B.C. parks are managed, which they say could open the door to pipeline expansion in protected areas.

Concerned British Columbians took to Facebook over the weekend to spread an online petition by the progressive political advocacy site Sum of Us, demanding the provincial government repeal Bill 4 — also called the Park Amendment Act — which passed into law last week.

As of Sunday evening the petition had more than 118,000 signatures.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society had more than 8,000 signatures on its own digital petition to repeal the law and has received more than 4,000 letters to the government, according to spo…

EXCERPT: The Longer I'm Prime Minister

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[A good read - I just borrowed this book from the library. *RON*]

Paul Wells, Political Editor, Maclean's, 03/31/2014

The Huffington Post Canada is delighted to once again be partnering with the Writers' Trust of Canada Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. In the weeks leading up to the April 2 announcement of this year's prize winner, we are publishing excerpts from each of the five finalists. The authors have personally chosen the portions they'd like to share, and each excerpt begins with a brief explanation of why that particular passage was chosen.

A note from author Paul Wells:
This excerpt comes from the chapter on the 2008 election. Harper made a great show of being forced into that election by un-cooperative opposition parties, but in fact the whole thing was meticulously planned with a TV ad shoot at Harrington Lake and a series of strategic leaks by his spokesman Kory Teneycke. Here we see several Harper charact…

Harper government introduces C-31 'budget implementation' bill

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[Snowed under - Canadian democratic politics Harper-style. *RON*]
By Brent Patterson, rabble.ca, March 31, 2014

Last week on Friday, the Harper government tabled C-31, yet another one of its so-called 'budget implementation' omnibus bills. This one alters almost 40 different pieces of legislation. The 359-page piece of legislation can be read here or here.

Canada Is a Lousy Oil Negotiator

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[We collected less than one-fifth the tax and royalty benefits Norway did in 2012. Ouch. *RON*]

By Mitchell Anderson, March 31, 2014, TheTyee.ca

In 2012, the Canadian taxpayer realized a benefit of about $9 per "barrel of oil equivalent" -- less than one-fifth what Norway collected in the same year.
There is an old adage in business that you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. And there are few businesses bigger than Big Oil. The top 50 petroleum companies collectively have annual revenues over $5.6 trillion.

Subsurface mineral rights worldwide typically remain the property of sovereign nations, and oil companies only access that bounty through negotiated leases. You can imagine these negotiations are high stakes affairs. With potentially trillions of dollars on the table, both sides have a lot to gain and a lot to lose.