Showing posts from April 10, 2015

Gov't Policies Worsen Income Inequality: Former StatsCan Chief

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[His basic point is true and, in fact, quite conservative. He fails to address the question of whether the transfer programs that the poor get 'stuck' in are adequate to the begin with, however. *RON*]

Staff,, 9 April 2015

Income transfer programs are doing little to encourage social mobility and are in some cases trapping low-income Canadians behind low-income and welfare walls, according to a Macdonald-Laurier Institute report by former chief statistician of Canada Munir Sheikh.

Read: Canadians underestimate wealth gap

In their attempts to address income inequality, governments should design policies that don’t inadvertently keep people from reaching their full economic potential. “Despite decades of lip service to the idea of eliminating welfare and low-income traps, they are still very much with us,” writes Sheikh. “Our social policies must, therefore, be reformed with an eye to eliminating this self-imposed but unconscionable…

Families of missing and murdered indigenous women give police a failing grade

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[CBC probes 230 unsolved cases, interviews 110 families. "Treated like scum..." *RON*]

CBC News, 8 April 2015
Police departments across Canada get a failing grade for their efforts at solving cases of missing and murdered indigenous women, according to CBC interviews with more than 110 family members.

CBC News has embarked on an exhaustive search for families who have lost a relative either to an unsolved killing or whose loved one still remains missing.

So far, more than 110 families have responded to questions ranging from the efficacy of police investigations to the need for a national inquiry.

Families were asked to rate the quality of the police investigation in each case, on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being excellent. The average rating was 2.8.
"I think all the murder cases of high-risk people, whether you're white or whether you're an Indian or whether you're Spanish ... you're treated like scum," says …

Wolves Scapegoated While Alberta Government Sells Off Endangered Caribou Habitat

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[More of what we have come to expect from that great Petro-Province across the Rockies. *RON*]
Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Blog Canada, 8 April 2015

Culling Alberta’s wolves without prioritizing caribou habitat protection and restoration is like “shoveling sand,” according to Mark Hebblewhite, associate professor of ungulate habitat biology at the University of Montana.

Hebblewhite says the Alberta government is sponsoring a wolf cull without doing the one thing that could possibly scientifically justify it: conserving and restoring critical caribou habitat.

“That’s the tragedy here: the Alberta government blew the opportunity to do the right thing,” he said.

“It’s all shoveling sand without real commitment to habitat conservation.”

Scientists have warned of Alberta’s caribou losses for decades and in recent years have argued the majority of the herds are endangered with some facing an imminent risk of local extinction. Provinces have until 2017 to formula…

Study suggests fracking could release radon from ground

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[I've never heard this issue mentioned before but, now that I hear it, it makes perfect sense. *RON*]
Liz Szabo & Doyle Rice, USA Today, 9 April 2015
Levels of cancer-causing radon gas in Pennsylvania homes have increased as the fracking industry has expanded, a new study shows.

The study is a preliminary "first look" into a possible connection between fracking and radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, says co-author Joan Casey. While the study doesn't conclusively prove that fracking releases radon from the ground, the findings are concerning, says Casey, a researcher at the University of California-Berkeley and University of California-San Francisco.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has spurred a boom in oil and natural-gas production. The fracking process blasts millions of gallons of water -- mixed with sand and chemicals -- deep underground to break apart shale deposits and release natural gas.

While supporters o…

For every oil job lost, up to four more may go, analyst says

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[Many people will tell you, "I don't like the oil companies, but we need the jobs!" What jobs? *RON*]

By Steve Goldstein, Market Watch 8 April 2015
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The hemorrhaging of oil prices isn’t just going to cost jobs on rigs and fracking sites.

Every job lost in the oil and gas sector may result in another three to four jobs lost outside the industry, according to a research note from Goldman Sachs’s Alec Phillips.

61% of Canadians say protecting the climate more important than pipelines and tarsands

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[National poll shows Canadians want leadership on climate protection. How likely do you think it is that Stephen Harper will pay attention to the democratic majority versus the 1%? See the links to the detailed results and methodology at the end of this posting. *RON*]

Dr. Louise Comeau & Steven Guilbault, Équiterre / Climate Action Network, 7 April 2015

Ottawa, Canada – Canadians believe climate disruption is a moral issue and that climate protection trumps development of the tarsands and pipelines. They want politicians to control carbon pollution and give citizens a say in energy decision-making.

Canadians believe:
Protecting the climate is more important than building the Energy East pipeline and further developing the tarsands (61% agree/strongly agree).Building the Energy East pipeline to export tarsands oil is unethical because it is harmful to the environment (by a 3 to 1 margin that 56% agree/strongly agree; 18% disagree/strongly disagr…

Fuel oil spill from freighter in Vancouver harbour triggers cleanup

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[The thing that's going unmentioned in the news thus far is that the company that is the majority owner of Western Canada Marine Response Corporation, which has been doing such a lackadaisical and generally inept job of this relatively small spill, is none other than Kinder-Morgan. A CKNW reporter confirmed that the Coast Guard station at Kitsilano Beach, before Harper shut it down, could have responded in 6 mins. Instead, we got...NO RESPONSE from the Canadian coast guard. World class my a$$. See also Fed's oil spill response blasted by B.C. premier, Vancouver mayor*RON*]

by Jeff Nagel - BC Local News, Surrey Leader, 9 April 2015 A suspected spill of bunker fuel oil from a grain freighter in English Bay has triggered a cleanup operation, as well as questions about the effectiveness of the emergency response.

Port Metro Vancouver spokesman John Parker-Jervis said the port received reports around 5 p.m. Wednesday of oil in the water and…