Showing posts from January 8, 2015

Keystone News Unsurprising After Harper Wrecked Canada's Relationship With The U.S.

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[Just a really fun read! :-) *RON*]
Sandy Garossino, Huffington Post, 7 January 2015

If revenge is indeed a dish that's best served cold, the President of Cool just served up a four-star pièce de résistance for Stephen Harper.

Tuesday's announcement of Obama's planned veto of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline should not have been surprising, yet when the blow came it carried a shocking intensity.

And how did things go so badly that Canada doesn't have the heft or goodwill in Washington to add a single pipeline to a nation benoodled with them? The answer lies in the delusional hubris of Stephen Harper.

No close watcher of the president should be surprised. In myriad ways, the prime minister's personal ambition shredded our nation's single most important relationship and drew us into the toxic swamp of Washington's poisonous politics.

It's been going on for years.

In early 2008, during the heat of the U.S. primary season, …

B.C. Finance Ministry finds big problems with its public-private partnership program

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[The idea that Public-Private Partnerships are sometimes a good idea isn't a problem - it's an empirical question that needs to be answered for any given project. The problem is when it becomes a matter of ideology that P3 is always and invariably better than anything done by the public sector. However, the Liberal Party's answer to the obvious self-interest bias of Partnership BC is to replace it with an even more dubious Ministerial political bias. *RON*]
By Keith Reynolds,, 8 January 2015

The B.C. Finance Ministry has produced a report much more critical of Partnerships BC and its activities around public-private partnerships (P3s) than might have been expected by a province so committed to the practice. It raises issues of conflict of interest, dubious practices and questionable assumptions in the multi-billion-dollar program. The story has received no media coverage.

While it is likely the province will continue to pus…

B.C. regulations ban oil and bitumen from natural gas pipelines

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[Note that Christy Clark vowed to pass a law to allay public fears that LNG pipelines would be used as a Trojan Horse for bringing tarsands oil to the coast. The thing is, she did not do this. She instead passed a 'regulation' which can be reversed by Cabinet in one minute flat. While we're at it, let's note how BC Minister James Moore's pipeline safety pitch has been trashed. *RON*]

Dirk Meissner, Canadian Press / Calgary Herald, 5 January 2015
VICTORIA — A proposed network of pipelines from natural gas fields in British Columbia's northeast to liquefied natural gas export plants in the northwest will not be permitted to pump oil and diluted bitumen, the provincial government says.

The Natural Gas Development Ministry said a new regulation prohibits the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission from allowing any conversion of a natural gas pipeline supplying an LNG facility.

But the Opposition New Democrats said the regulation is not tou…

Court decision ends ambiguity for non-status Indians and Metis, now officially 'Indians'

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[In principle it is good that all Aboriginal people should be recognized as such by the government - though, as you see, Harper is predictably looking into fighting the decision. But there is already not enough money to meet the most basic needs of the Aboriginal community for food, cleaning water, health services and housing and this will absolutely not improve under a Harper government. *RON*]
By Kim Pemberton, Vancouver Sun, 8 January 2013
Thanks to a single court decision, the federal government’s responsibilities for Canada’s aboriginal peoples have suddenly become a whole lot larger.
After more than 13 years of legal wrangling, the Federal Court ruled on Tuesday that Metis and non-status Indians are indeed “Indians” under a section of the Constitution Act, and fall under federal jurisdiction.

The decision adds to the mounting pressure on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to rethink the way Canada deals with native populations, who are among the …

Most of Canada’s oilsands must stay in ground if world to limit global warming: report

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[75% of Canadian oil, 85 per cent of the tarsands, 80% of coal, and 25% our natural gas must be left in the ground, and none of our Arctic energy resources can be developed, if the world wants to limit global warming. The odds of this happening under Stephen Harper are zero. *RON*]
By Bob Weber, Canadian Press / Global News, 7 January 2015

British researchers have concluded that most of Canada’s oilsands will have to be left in the ground if the world gets serious about climate change.

The report, published in the journal Nature, says three-quarters of all Canada’s oil reserves and 85 per cent of its oilsands can’t be burned if the world wants to limit global warming. The report also concludes that no country’s Arctic energy resources can be developed if global temperature increases are to be kept manageable.

It adds that about one-quarter of Canada’s natural gas reserves and four-fifths of its coal would also have to be left in the ground.

Report a…

Krugman dead wrong on austerity

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[A critique of Krugman's opposition to austerity policies by the man whose neoliberal "shock therapy" ruined the economies of Bolivia and Poland. Opinions on austerity differ widely in the US largely because they've adopted a hodgepodge of both neoliberal and progressive economic policies and the result has been flaccidly positive. One side says we're gotten as far as we have because of the austerity elements we successfully implemented, while the other says we're limping lamely along because we haven't succeeded in eliminating all those austerity policies. *RON*]
By Jeffrey D. Sachs, Business Day Live, 8 January 2015

FOR several years, and often several times a month, the Nobel laureate economist and New York Times columnist and blogger Paul Krugman has delivered one main message to his loyal readers: deficit-cutting "austerians" (as he calls advocates of fiscal austerity) are deluded. Fiscal retrenchment …