Showing posts from September 5, 2014

Canada leads world in forest decline, report says

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[Oh Canada, no one stands on guard for thee. The 42nd Canadian federal election is tentatively scheduled for October 19, 2015, in accordance with the Canada Elections Act. *RON*]

By William Marsden, Postmedia News / Edmonton Journal, 4 September 2014

WASHINGTON – The world’s virgin forests are being lost at an increasing rate and the largest portion of the degradation is in Canada, according to a new report.

No longer is Brazil the main villain in the struggle to stop forest destruction.

“Canada is the number one in the world for the total area of the loss of intact forest landscapes since 2000,” Peter Lee, of Forest Watch Canada, said in an interview.

He said the main drivers are fires, logging and energy and industrial development.

“There is no political will at federal or provincial levels for conserving primary forests,” he said. “Most logging done in Canada is still to this day done in virgin forests.”

Using satellite technology, scientists …

B.C. to address Supreme Court ruling, chiefs' hangings: Premier Clark

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[Say, this 150 year-old set of racist judicial murders has just come to my attention - let's fix that RIGHT AWAY! Oh, so you were just granted control over your own land? Gosh I hadn't heard about that! Christy Clark is so repugnantly transparent. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 5 September 2014

VANCOUVER - British Columbia's government says it is addressing a recent high court decision and a historic wrong dating back 150 years with the Tsilhqot'in (sill-KOH'-teen) First Nation in the province's Interior.

Premier Christy Clark and other provincial officials met this week with Tsilhqot'in national chiefs to address the Supreme Court of Canada decision granting title to 1,750 square kilometres of its territory.

The government also says plans are being made to redress the unjust hanging of six Tsilhqot'in chiefs during the Chilcotin (chill-COAT'-in) War in 1864.

The chiefs thought they were meeti…

Kinder Morgan asks feds to forbid City of Burnaby from halting pipeline work

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[Out lawyered? Energy giant uses its legal muscle in an attempt to override city opposition to its plans for the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline. The PR mask comes off when this Texas corporation does not instantly get its way. *RON*]
Mychaylo Prystupa, Vancouver Observer, 5 September 2014

Kinder Morgan's lawyers have filed a motion with the National Energy Board to force the City of Burnaby to get out of the way of the company's crews that have been trying to do exploratory drill work, for its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The Mayor of Burnaby has long opposed the oil sands pipeline project through the city. And lately, city staff have made appearances wherever Kinder Morgan workers have tried to do their activities on Burnaby Mountain.

The company is the midst of applying to build a $5.4 billion Alberta-to-Burnaby oil sands pipeline, but it first needs to do geotechnical work on the mountain, where a new routing is planne…

Mulroney On Harper's Supreme Court Spat: 'You Don't Do That'

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[There seems to have been a concerted effort this week by former Prime Ministers to bear down on Stephen Harper. Are we seeing a split among Conservatives similar to what is happening among Republicans in response to the Tea Party in the US? *RON*]
By The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 4 September 2014

OTTAWA - Brian Mulroney is pulling no punches on the 30th anniversary of his historic majority election win, chastising Stephen Harper on everything from foreign affairs to the prime minister's spat with Canada's top judge.

In an interview with CTV's "Power Play" to mark this week's anniversary, the former prime minister sternly rebuked Harper for his public spat this year with Beverley McLachlin, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

"You don't get into a slagging contest with the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, even if you thought that he or she was wrong," Mulroney said in the int…

The value of labour market data for Indigenous workers

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[Some infrequently reported information on unemployment among Aboriginal people (off-reserve) and New Canadians. Not good news, as you would guess. *RON*]
By Angella MacEwen,, 5 September 2014

Labour market data in Canada is easily available by sex, age, and region. We spend a great deal of time talking about these factors. More recently Statistics Canada made labour market data available on CANSIM by landed immigrant status, going back to 2006. This factor is less often included in most labour market analysis, and too few know that it is even available.

But if you want to know how racialized workers or Indigenous workers (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples) are doing in the labour force you basically have to rely on the census … oh, wait. And on top of eliminating the census, the Harper government shut down the First Nations Statistical Institute.

So imagine my delight when a recent search on the issue turned up an article from the …

Linking income inequality and violent crime: Data from Mexico’s “drug war”

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[The benefits of crime rise and the costs drop in a more unequal society. A one unit increase in the GINI coefficient is associated with an increase of more than 10 deaths. *RON*]
By Joanna Penn, Journalist's Resource, 4 September 2014
Mexico’s “drug war” resulted in an estimated 60,000 deaths between 2006 and 2012, with another 26,000 Mexicans missing as a result of the violence. Felipe Calderon, the country’s president during that period, targeted the leaders of drug cartels, but the strategy reportedly led to a violent competition between gangs to consolidate power within a multi-billion-dollar industry. At the same time, the falling drug trade encouraged criminal organizations to turn to crimes such as kidnappings, extortion and domestic drug dealing to boost profits.

While the number of drug-related homicides has begun to plateau or decline under President Enrique Peña Nieto, elected in 2013, violence remains endemic in parts of Mexico. …

Naturalists to rally over pipeline work

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[I've been telling myself that I'm going to join the Burke Mountain Naturalists for about two years now... *RON*]

Jeremy Deutsch, Tri-Cities Now, 5 September 2014

While the process around the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline continues, a group of Tri-Cities residents is planning to rally in opposition to one aspect of the plan.

The Burke Mountain Naturalists have scheduled a rally at Colony Farm Regional Park for Sunday, Sept. 14 to oppose Kinder Morgan's proposal to use part of the park as a construction staging area.

Elaine Golds, the event's organizer, said the rally is an opportunity to inform members of the public of Kinder Morgan's proposal and a reminder they can provide comment about the process up to Oct. 12.

She said the group will also be circulating a petition to encourage Kinder Morgan to look at other options, suggesting there are other locations available, but they cost more.

A Trans Mountain study f…

Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault: The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin

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[Virtually all of the charges being laid at Putin's door are perfectly true. If you lever your mind open a bit, though, it's possible to see that there is blame a'plenty to spread around where the Ukraine is concerned. *RON*]
By John J. Mearsheimer, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2014 issue
According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine.

But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The t…