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Showing posts from January 22, 2015

LNG shocker: Squamish rejects pipeline builder’s drilling permit

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[BC municipalities - Vancouver, Kitimat, Burnaby, and now Squamish - are actively involved and play a significant role in slowing and reshaping projects proposed by the oil and gas industry. In this case, Squamish council has stopped Fortis from test drilling in a Wildlife Management Area. *RON*]
by Damien Gillis, Common Sense Canadian, 21 January 2015

In a surprising show of municipal political power – even in a region that has demonstrated strong misgivings regarding proposed LNG development – Squamish council has rejected Fortis BC’s controversial permit application for test drilling in a Wildlife Management Area.

The vote came at Tuesday night’s council meeting, which revisited an earlier discussion regarding Fortis’ planned pipeline expansion to feed the Woodfibre LNG plant near Squamish, proposed byIndonesian billionaire Sukanto Tanoto.
Plan gets bogged down in sensitive area
The application – which sought permits for drilling in a sensitive …

Twenty Pounds of BS in a Ten-Pound Bag

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[Withering, blistering, and perfectly true. *RON*]

By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout, 21 January 2015

Let me be perfectly clear from the jump: It was a fine speech, one of the best of President Obama's political career, which makes it automatically one of the best in the State of the Union's august history. The last fifteen minutes, in particular, were absolutely soaring, not just in rhetoric, but in the delivery as well. The man parked it as deep as it can be parked, like a majestic David Ortiz line drive deep into the bleachers at Fenway, thanks for coming, turn out the lights when you leave. No one does it better that Barack Obama when the bright lights are on.

...and when it was over, my immediate thought was of Steven the Irishman, the self-declared madman from the film Braveheart. Mel Gibson had just given his rousing speech to keep the Scots from fleeing before the battle at Stirling Bridge.

"Fine speech," said Steven. &quo…

An Approach to Ending Poverty That Works

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["Our research has shown that the vast majority of participants in these programs – 75 to 98%, depending on the geography – not only leaves the category of ultra-poverty within 24 months, but remains on an upward trajectory even four years after they've stopped receiving direct benefits." *RON*]

Susan Davis, Harvard Business Review, 22 January 2015


Ending extreme poverty by 2030 is the BHAG – the big, hairy audacious goal – of our generation. While skepticism abounds, momentum is on our side, with poverty ratesfalling in every region of world.

Unfortunately, these trends still have little to no impact on the lives of a critical and chronically marginalized subset of the extreme poor around the world, those living on less than 60 to 70 cents per day. At BRAC, where I work, we call this subset the “ultra-poor.” Microfinance and other market-based interventions don’t generally reach them. Predominantly women, they face chronic food insec…

Canada’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia shrouded in secrecy

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[See also How Saudi Wahhabism Is the Fountainhead of Islamist Terrorism. Under any circumstance, what good would assurances be from a nation that tortures, flogs and beheads its own citizens, treats its women like animals, and sponsors terrorism? Harper's constant chest-thumping diatribes against Islamic terrorism are gone with the wind if there is a buck to be made from feeding the Middle East military machine. *RON*]

Steven Chase, The Globe and Mail, 21 January 2015

The Canadian government is refusing to say whether it obtained assurances that light armoured vehicles being sold to Saudi Arabia in a massive $15-billion deal would not be used against the Saudi people – a key guarantee required by federal export controls when arms are destined for countries with a “persistent record of serious violations of the human rights of their citizens.”

This controversial 2014 agreement to ship made-in-Canada light armoured vehicles to the Mideast coun…

Dying With Dignity Canada Stripped Of Charitable Tax Status

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[Religion and realpolitik. Harper opposes assisted suicide because of his religious beliefs, therefore the "independent" CRA strips Dying With Dignity of their charitable status on the grounds that they promote "an attitude of mind" that might influence legislation. Yet the Fraser Institute chugs merrily along, with full charitable status, lobbying for conservative political policies. *RON*]
By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 20 January 2015

OTTAWA - Canada's registered charities are not permitted to exercise moral pressure or promote "an attitude of mind" that might influence legislation, the federal taxman has ruled in stripping Dying with Dignity Canada of its charitable tax status.

The organization, a registered charity since 1982, was informed this month by the Canada Revenue Agency that it never should have received favourable tax treatment in the first place and that its status was being…

Canadians not confident Ottawa can handle oil spills, government poll shows

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[No surprise here. Canadians don't trust the federal government to handle oil spills and other accidents. "What I think Canadians are worried about is they’re being asked to take on all the risk for a product that’s being developed for the export market only." *RON*]

By: Alex Boutilier, Toronto Star, 19 January 2015

OTTAWA—Canadians lack confidence in the federal government to effectively deal with oil spills on land and at sea, according to internal polling conducted for Natural Resources Canada.

The $174,000 poll, administered by Harris-Decima between April and July 2014, found that Canadians largely agree the extractive sector creates good jobs and benefits local economies. But it also found that Canadians are not confident in the federal government’s ability to handle spills from pipelines, tankers, or rail accidents.

Only 27 per cent of respondents said they were confident in Ottawa’s ability to respond to an oil spill at sea, wh…

Oil patch to cut capital spending, boost production in Western Canada

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[A 33% slash in capital spending. A 30% slash in the number of wells to be drilled. Layoffs, spending cuts, and predictions all around that oil prices will continue to fall. Yet CAPP President Tim McMillan thinks we still need more pipelines. How does this add up? See also Oil Glut, Collapsed Prices, Layoffs… but US Production Soars. *RON*]

Shawn McCarthy and Jeff Lewis, The Globe and Mail, 21 January 2015


Oil companies will slash $23-billion from their capital spending in western Canada this year, but production is expected to grow over the next few years as a result of the recent investment boom, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said Wednesday.

In an update to its short-term forecast, the industry group said that its members will cut their capital budgets by a third, to $46-billion this year. Oil sands investment is expected to fall by about a quarter, to $25-billion in 2015 from $33-billion last year.

Despite a global market bu…

VIDEO: Fracking has "awakened a sleeping giant"

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[Corporatocracy or democracy? We need to ask ourselves what democracy means when 70% of Canadians (49% of them being Conservatives) favour a ban on fracking until it is proven safe, and vote accordingly. *RON*]
By PressProgress, 21 January 2015

Fee-fi-fo-fum.

Two significant stories reflect growing concern over fracking in Canada.

Tuesday's Whitehorse Daily Star headline tells us that the conservative Yukon Party's rush to push fracking on the Klondike has "awakened a sleeping giant."

In the Yukon, an all-party committee of the legislature tabled a report that found "the majority of Yukoners that the committee heard from do not want to see hydraulic fracturing used to extract shale oil and gas resources in (the) Yukon" and that "many indicated a preference" to instead "devote scientific research funding to finding sustainable renewable energy resources."

On the East Coast, famous Canadians -- including…