Showing posts from August 15, 2014

Portugal court partially rejects Lisbon austerity plans

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[Self-explanatory - part of the growing pushback. *RON*]

Press TV, 15 August 2014

The top court in Portugal has partially rejected the Lisbon government’s plans to adopt fresh austerity measures, saying such a move does not guarantee the principle of equality.

On Thursday, Joaquim de Sousa Ribeiro, the head of Portugal’s Constitutional Court, dismissed the center-right government’s plans to impose a levy of two to three percent on public sector pensions starting at 1,000 euros (USD 1,300).
Lisbon’s plan to charge tax on pensions would bring in some 372 million euros in extra revenue in 2015, but Sousa Ribeiro said such a measure did not ensure “fairness between generations.”

However, the court ruled that the government was authorized to cut the salaries of the public sector workers earning more than 1,500 euros (USD 2,000) a month only through next year.

Lisbon had earlier warned against any rejection of its plans to introduce new austerity refo…

France rebels against austerity as Europe's recovery collapses

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[Germany has so far refused to yield any ground on austerity policies but is increasingly vulnerable. Revised data show that the economy has been far weaker than thought over the past two years, falling into a significant double-dip recession last year. France’s finance minister sends tremors through European capitals with a defiant warning that his country would no longer try to meet deficit targets. *RON*]
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph, 14 Aug 2014
Eurozone strategy is in tatters after economic recovery ground to a halt across the region and France demanded a radical shift in policy, warning that austerity overkill is driving Europe into a depression.

Growth slumped to zero in the second quarter, with Germany contracting by 0.2pc and France once again stuck at zero. Italy is already in a triple-dip recession.

Yields on 10-year German Bunds fell below 1pc for the first time in history, beneath levels seen during the most extreme episod…

Red Chris blockade continues, Neskonlith to deliver Ruddock eviction notice

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["Bennett and Kynoch reportedly committed to stopping development at the Red Chris Mine until it was deemed safe to proceed, and also committed to an independent third-party review of the mine plan." How meaningful is this, considering a third-party review was already done in 2013 which concluded there was no guarantee that Imperial Metal’s tailings pond would hold toxic wastewater from the mine? Bennett allowed construction at Red Chris to continue despite that conclusion. *RON*]
By Derrick, West Coast Native News, 14 August 2014

CBC News

Imperial Metals is dealing with more than just local fallout from the tailings pond breach that flooded and polluted waterways near its Mount Polley gold and copper mine in B.C’s Cariboo earlier this month.

The Vancouver-based mining company is not only issuing layoff notices this week at Mount Polley — it is also facing local opposition from First Nations groups over its two other principal mine proper…

Oilsands, deepwater among riskiest energy plays in the world, report says

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[The current price of oil is $95.58 a barrel, and it is projected to be worth $109 a barrel a year from now. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 15 August 2014

CALGARY - A new report says some of the world's costliest energy projects are in Alberta's oilsands and many could be cancelled without higher oil prices.

The study by the Carbon Tracker Initiative highlighted 20 of the biggest projects around the world that need a minimum oil price of US$95 per barrel to be economically viable.

Most on the list require prices well north of US$110 per barrel and a few in the oilsands even need prices higher than US$150.

Oilsands players flagged as having some of the most economically risky projects include global majors such as ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil.

Other pricey projects highlighted in the report were in deepwater or ultra deepwater off West Africa and Brazil, as well as in the Arctic.

In total, the 20 projects repr…

Mount Polley highlights risk of Red Chris, KSM tailings dam failures

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["In 2013, a third party review was done of Imperial Metals’ engineering designs for their tailings pond at Red Chris. The independent review concluded there was no guarantee that Imperial Metal’s tailings pond would hold toxic wastewater from the mine. Despite this conclusion, construction at Red Chris has been allowed to continue, and the mine is currently scheduled to open in September of this year." *RON*]
By Tadzio Richards, Common Sense Canadian, 14 August 2014
By any measure, the giant tailings dam rupture at Imperial Metal’s Mount Polley Copper Mine is a disaster for downstream communities and wild salmon. The massive dam breach released a raging torrent of slurry mine waste into Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake, prompting local emergency response officials to warn downstream residents not to drink, cook with, bathe in, or come into contact with the effluent.

To make matters worse, the complete failure of the tailings dam occurre…

Coming to Terms with the Cost of Prisons in Canada

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[A catalogue of the litany of woes associated with the Canadian correctional system. "In B.C, Premier Christy Clark has overseen a $128 million prison building campaign, the largest investment in corrections in the Province’s history. Meanwhile funding for legal aid has not increased since 2002, amounting to a 40% proportional decrease in funding for legal representation for low income people. In Vancouver, policing is the largest and fastest growing endeavour on the municipal budget. In a time of austerity, corrections and criminal justice are glaring exceptions." *RON*]
By William Winter, The Mainlander, 14 August 2014

On Sunday, August 10th, people both inside and outside the prison system came together in solidarity against prisons and the global rise of hyper-incarceration. In 1975 Prison Justice Day began as a day of silence and mourning amongst Canadian prisoners in response to the death of Eddie Nalon which was caused by the neg…

This Conservative MP thought he could pull the wool over the eyes of Canadians about government spying. It’s not working

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[Rebuts the government's position on the supposed safeguards provided for Canadians by CSEC, talking point by talking point. *RON*]
By David Christopher,, 14 August 2014

Sometimes it’s not hard to understand why so few Canadians trust their politicians. Case in point: Kevin Sorenson, government MP and Minister of State for Finance.

Earlier this year, a number of Mr Sorenson’s constituents wrote to him to express concerns about the reckless actions of government spy agency CSEC. His constituents had a simple request: they asked Mr Sorenson to make a pro-privacy pledge to safeguard their privacy against intrusion by government agencies like CSEC.

Instead of taking their concerns seriously, Mr Sorenson chose to try to pull the wool over the eyes of his constituents. He replied with a blasé set of scripted government talking points about CSEC -- points that had long since been refuted both by privacy experts and by a shocking series of rev…

No start date in sight for Imperial Metals' Mount Polley spill cleanup

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[Ten days after the Mount Polley mining disaster there is not one scrap of information about when the cleanup will begin or who will pay for it. *RON*]
Carol Linnitt, Vancouver Observer, Aug 14th, 2014
It's been 10 days since the tailings pond holding billions of litres of mining waste breached at the Mount Polley mine near Likely, B.C. sending arsenic and mercury-laced water and slurry into the Hazeltine Creek which feeds Quesnel Lake, a major source of drinking water and home to one quarter of the province’s sockeye salmon.

Yet local residents have no idea when cleanup of the spill will start, or even who is going to do it. Will it be Imperial Metals, the company that owns the mine? The federal or B.C. government? A third-party contractor? No one seems to have the answers.

On a recent trip to the Mount Polley spill site, the Vancouver Observer learned no cleanup crews are currently working on removing the tremendous amount of mining w…