Showing posts from August 8, 2016

Mount Polley Mine Disaster Two Years In: ‘It’s Worse Than It’s Ever Been’

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[ELECTION 2017! "It’s shocking to me that a disaster of this nature could take place and our regulatory bodies spend more time covering up what’s going on than ensuring a proper cleanup and remediation." *RON*]
By Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Blog, 4 August 2016

Thursday marks two years since the Mount Polley mine disaster in Likely, B.C. where a tailings pond collapse spilled 25 million cubic metres of mining waste, laced with contaminants like arsenic, lead and copper, into the once-pristine Quesnel Lake, a major salmon spawning ground and source of drinking water.

To mark the occasion, B.C. Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett issued a press release praising the government’s world-class mining standards, saying the province is now “at the forefront of global standards for the safety of [tailings storage facilities] at mines operating in this province.”

“We’ve taken a leadership position and have done all we can to ensure such a failure ca…

Our last, best chance to restore our rights and repeal Bill C-51

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[See also: Bill C-51 for Dummies: What you should know, and sign the petition to Kill Bill C-51. *RON*]
By David Christopher,, 1 August 2016

This is it, folks. Eighteen months after it was first introduced, and over a year since it was forced through Parliament by the Harper government, Canadians will soon have a chance to finally overturn Bill C-51.

In June, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale promised to consult Canadians on the bill, a public engagement exercise that he pledged would "probably be the most extensive the government of the country has ever seen."

The college debt crisis is even worse than you think

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[Lengthy but interesting and informative piece on what happens when the profit motive takes over and government's motto becomes "every man for himself!" We tell students they need a bachelor’s degree to get ahead. But for too many, the numbers no longer add up. *RON*]

By Neil Swidey, The Boston Globe, 18 May 2016
IT’S ONE OF THE MOST enduring selling points for the value of higher education: The best route out of poverty is through the college quad. Spend four years in college, and all that book learning, mind opening, and network expanding will help even the lowest-income student jump up several rungs on the economic ladder. Nowhere is that message preached as often or with as much evident authority as in Massachusetts, the nation’s historic capital of private, nonprofit higher education, where the concentration of colleges in some areas is surpassed only by the number of Dunkin’ Donuts franchises.

Tired of Waiting for Corporate High-Speed Internet, Minnesota Farm Towns Build Their Own

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[Corporatocracy vs the public good. A unique community-owned broadband cooperative will free dozens of tiny towns and farms from reliance on slower corporate providers. We are so badly ripped off by Internet Service Providers! Likewise, from 2015: These Cities Built Cheap, Fast, Community-Owned Broadband. Here's What Net Neutrality Means For Them. *RON*]
Ben DeJarnette, Yes! Magazine, 3 August 2016

Seven years ago, Winthrop, Minnesota, population 1,400, decided it needed an internet upgrade.

Most local residents were served by companies like Mediacom, which Consumer Reports consistently ranked among the country’s worst internet providers. Slow connection speeds made work difficult in local schools and businesses, but farmers outside of town, who increasingly rely on connectivity to do business, experienced the worst of it.

Fourteen miles from Winthrop, in Moltke Township, population 330, one soybean- and wheat-farming family reported its sluggis…

The Rage Against Trade

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[Congress says it won't pursue TPP under a lame-duck administration. The majority of Republicans believe trade hurts the US. Trump wants to rip up existing trade agreements. Clinton opposes Obama's TPP. Whither globalization? *RON*]

By The Editorial Board, New York Times, 6 August 2016
One of the unusual features of this very unusual election year is that both candidates have made major trade agreements an important issue in their campaigns. Donald Trump has been particularly vociferous on the matter, blaming trade for hollowing out the middle class and promising to rip up existing agreements with other countries. Though his talking points are nothing more than hot air, he has struck a chord with millions of angry voters.

Hostility to trade — even misdirected rage — should not be taken lightly. While trade is not the cause of all or even much of the wage stagnation or increased income inequality in the past several decades, there are real …

Priced out of rental market, Simon Fraser students sleeping on campus

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[Shocking. But when the article says "she's written letters to government officials and housing activists" this also makes me wonder where SFU's responsibility lies. They chose a business model where they have separate buildings downtown but no real campus; they are without traditional services like student housing in those locations. *RON*]

Kerry Gold, The Globe and Mail, 5 August 2016

Nicholas Ree is an intensely hard-working, 23-year-old theatre student at Simon Fraser University who is currently homeless.

For the last three months, Mr. Ree has been sleeping inside SFU downtown, because his meagre student budget can’t support the growing cost of shelter.

Mr. Ree, who is from Japan and has lived in Vancouver for four years as a Canadian citizen, is one of a growing legion of people who have been pushed out of rental properties for any number of reasons. Most often, they are “reno-victed”, which is what happens when your landlord…