Showing posts from August 7, 2014

SFU Prof Mark Jaccard: BC LNG a race to the bottom

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["...reports put the price of a recent gas contract between China and Russia at $10.50 per million British Thermal Units, far below the peak Asian price, and close to (if not below) the cost of sending B.C. gas to China. At this price, there will be no government royalties, no lower income taxes, no debt retirement, no wealth fund. Maybe no LNG plants.... So brace yourself for another barrage of Orwellian doublespeak from government and industry, in which cleanest means dirty, great public wealth means modest private profits, and revised climate targets mean missed climate targets." *RON*]
Posted August 7, 2014 by Common Sense Canadian in Economics
This is a guest post by Mark Jaccard, professor of sustainable energy at Simon Fraser University and a convening lead author in the Global Energy Assessment – republished with permission from

During B.C.’s 2013 election campaign, at a conference of energy economists in Washington, D…

Government allowed massive production, toxin increase at Mount Polley Mine before tailings pond disaster

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[This disaster was created by endless requests to expand production beyond their ability to keep up with the mess they were creating, endlessly approved by the Liberals, combined with no planning on the corporation's part and toothless enforcement of standards by the government. *RON*]

Posted August 6, 2014 by Kevin Logan in Mining, on Common Sense Canadian
Mount Polley’s tailing pond breach is the worst environmental disaster in BC History. It will be a BC Day that goes down in infamy and, from the environmental perspective, may be one of the world’s worst mining disasters when all is said and done.

At 10 million cubic metres of water and 4.5 million of slurry, it appears this tailings pond release is one of the largest of its kind in history, anywhere in the world.
Disaster follows massive increase in toxic tailings

Mount Polley owner Imperial Metals, in its most recent report, claimed as much as a seven fold increase, year-over-year, in toxic…

All of Us Are Paying for Government Inaction on Poverty

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[Poverty costs us $9.2 billion per year; reducing poverty would cost $4 billion. Poverty and inequality contributes to poorer health, more chronic disease, more avoidable deaths, social injustice, increasing demand and costs for healthcare services, increases in poverty-related policing, corrections, and housing, reduced workforce productivity, an under-performing economy, and erosion of democracy, political and social stability. *RON*]

John Millar, Clinical Professor at the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia and VP, Public Health Association of BC, Huffington Post, 7 August 2014

Canadians might be surprised to learn that 86 families now hold more wealth than the poorest 11.4 million Canadians. Is this a Canada to be proud of? Hardly.

According to many studies, the Canadian poverty rate remains high. A recent OECD report shows that the very rich are taking an ever greater share of income. And a new study from t…

Blame the provincial government for the toxic mine spill

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[Bravely written piece. You can be sure The Sun editorial staff will hear from Team Christy post haste. "the buck really stops with the province, which is responsible for the regulatory culture — or lack thereof — that permits catastrophes like this to happen repeatedly.... And who’s on the hook such environmental disasters, all of which appear to come from lax government regulation and enforcement? Why, often it’s the taxpayers, the very folk whom government says it helps by reducing tax burdens through environmental budget cuts." *RON*]

By Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun, 5 August 2014

The spill of 10 million cubic metres of toxic effluent laced with heavy metals, mercury and arsenic from a failed tailings pond into waterways feeding Quesnel Lake occurs just as the summer sockeye run arrives at what is one of the richest rearing habitats for salmon in the province.

The visceral, knee-jerk reaction is to point the finger of blame squarely…

First Nations' urgent calls about Mount Polley tailings allegedly went unanswered for hours

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[Part of the protocol is that they give us a call whenever there's any kind of incident -- we're supposed to be one of the first to find out.... It was only because of the persistence of Councillor Sellars calling and calling that he finally got someone on the phone before we had any contact with them. They didn't contact chiefs or band councillors in any way, shape or form. Neither did any government officials." *RON*]

Jenny Uechi, Vancouver Observer, Aug 6th, 2014

Shuswap First Nation councillor Willie Sellars grabbed up his phone to call Mount Polley Mining Corporation about the disastrous tailings pond breach shortly after dawn on Monday. No one answered. He would spend all day on the phone, trying to find someone from the company to explain what was going on.

"I think I found out about 6 a.m. in the morning. I phoned all day, and I didn't get somebody picking up until the afternoon," he said, guessing it could h…

Harper government's legal setbacks suggest strategy of confrontation

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["... even if a piece of legislation has a 99 per cent chance of being defeated by the courts, government policy is to forge ahead.  That throws some cold water on MacKay's now-infamous refrain that even the government's most controversial pieces of legislation are vetted to be charter-compliant.  The NDP wanted to put that to the test for the Tories' new prostitution bill, asking that it be referred to the Supreme Court.  MacKay said no. " *RON*]

By Justin Ling, for CBC News, Aug 07, 2014
In what must feel to the prime minister like a visit to the shooting range, another tenet of the government's tough-on-crime agenda has been blown away.
Holding the rifle this time is respected Ottawa Judge David Paciocco. In tatters is the mandatory victim surcharge, a compulsory funding scheme implemented by the government to fund services to victims and their families.

The victim surcharge ruling is a clear signal the government's