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Showing posts from September 1, 2014

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[Hydro customers will be left footing the bill for $100 million in under-priced electricity given by the Province as corporate welfare to the same mining company that created the Mount Polley disaster, and which contributed 'liberally' to the BC Liberal party coffers. *RON*

Jim Quail, Quail & Worth's Law Blog, 25 August 2014


The BC Hydro Northwest Transmission line is now powered up and operating, delivering under-priced bulk electricity to mining companies and under-priced delivery services for private power generators. Not only did they over-run the capital cost of building the line, but BC Hydro goofed in its design of the rate structure to recoup construction cost from the users and left out about $100 million. The electricity they deliver to the mines will be priced far below its cost. The electricity they deliver from the power producers will be priced far above its value. Hydro customers will pay directly for every defic…

Mine Disaster: Who Will Investigate Gov't Failings?

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[Mount Polley panel picked to be expert in engineering, not legal, technicalities. Quid custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will watch the watchers?) "Premier Clark, Minister Bennett and by inference the rest of the B.C. cabinet have brought us shame. We not only look like fools, we are. We are yokels."*RON*]

By Rafe Mair, TheTyee.ca. 1 September 2014
The blue ribbon panel team set up by the provincial government to investigate the Mount Polley mine disaster will find out what caused the tailings pond dam to collapse.

The second and critically important question, however, is what, if any, role the government of British Columbia played or should have played. In fact, this is the most important aspect, because B.C. had a longstanding legal, not to mention moral, duty which it appears from all the evidence was not fulfilled -- and which, if fulfilled, may well have stopped the catastrophe from happening in the first place.

In the probe the govern…

The high cost of cheap meat: Public-health crisis

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[A good short summary of issues related to high-meat diets. *RON*]

Christine Chemnitz and Shefali Sharma, The Himalayan Times, 31 August 2014


As emerging-economy middle classes grow‚ it is vital to recognize that existing Western models of meat production and consumption do not provide a sound blueprint for the future. It is time to create a system that adheres to our ecological‚ social‚ and ethical boundaries

Factory-style livestock production is a critical driver of agricultural industrialization. Its remorseless expansion is contributing to climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, and human-rights violations – all to satisfy Western societies’ unhealthy appetite for cheap meat.

Europe and the United States were the largest meat consumers in the twentieth century, with the average person eating 60-90 kilograms (132-198 pounds) annually – far more than is required to meet humans’ nutritional needs.

Meanwhile, in emerging economies – e…

Rickets returns as poor families find healthy diets unaffordable

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[UK children are now suffering from Victorian poverty diseases such as rickets owing to growing wealth inequality. *RON*]
Tracy McVeighThe Observer, 30 August 2014
Poverty is forcing people to have dangerously poor diets and is leading to the return of rickets and gout – diseases of the Victorian age that affect bones and joints – according the UK Faculty of Public Health.

The public health professionals' body will call for a national food policy,including a sugar tax, as concerns rise over malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies in British children. It will also appeal for all political parties to back a living wage to help combat the illnesses.

Doctors and hospitals are seeing a rise in children suffering from ailments caused by poor diet and the faculty has linked the trend to people's inability to afford quality food. Latest figures show there has been a 19% increase in people hospitalised in England and Wales for malnutrition over the p…

Dubbed Terrorists, Mayans Fight Back Against Guatemalan Mining Projects

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[A shining example of the Canadian mining industry, beloved of Stephen Harper, hard at work. "Téodora Hernandez was shot in the head and left blind in one eye by two men who came to ask her why she would not let a road pass through her land. Francisco Javier Hernandez Peréz, a leading voice opposing the development, was doused in petrol and set alight in 2011 by hooded men who identified themselves as supporters of the mine. His wife, Victoría Yóc, witnessed the attack; her neighbours heard her screaming across the mountains. Others have stories of near misses: Miguel Angél Bámaca, a health worker who has documented cases of suspected poisoning, was shot at in his home." *RON*]
By Pete Guest, Newsweek, 29 August 2014
The road between the Guatemalan towns of San Miguel Ixtahuacán and Quetzaltenango is guarded by a dozen thin, young, Mayan men in baseball caps and hooded sweatshirts, who mill around a truck parked across the road. “If you…

Canadians Expose Foreign Worker 'Mess' In Oilsands

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[On the ongoing, disgraceful farce which is the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. *RON*]
CBC, on Huffington Post, 1 September 2014


Canadian tradesmen from a huge oilsands construction project are waving a red flag about safety hazards and near misses, which they blame on the use of foreign workers who aren't qualified and can't speak English.

"When you bring in a bunch of workers who are unqualified to do this job it's only a matter of time before you kill someone," said Les Jennings, who was an ironworker supervisor at the Husky Sunrise plant until a few weeks ago, when he quit in frustration.

"People are angry and upset," said journeyman ironworker Johnny Demosten, who is still working at the site. He said many of the foreign workers don't know crane hand signals and other safety precautions.

"If they are journeymen, they are supposed to know the signals. It's pretty dangerous."

There are 344 foreig…