Showing posts from August 16, 2016

Stephen Harper's ex-PMO lawyer questions Jason Kenney's murky fundraising activities

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["Sounds like Kenney's efforts to 'unite' conservatives are going smoothly." :-D *RON*]
By PressProgress, 15 August 2016 

As Jason Kenney's taxpayer-funded 'Summer of Jason' continues through the lazy days of August, how are Kenney's efforts to unite-the-right going?

For one thing, the prospective Alberta PC leadership hopeful's Twitter mentions seem to be getting flooded with questions about why he's still collecting his MP's salary and why his campaign is raising money before rules governing the party's official election campaign kick in?

For another thing, one of the people tagging Kenney with these questions is none other than a former special adviser and legal counsel in Stephen Harper's Prime Minister's Office.

Benjamin Perrin, an "accomplished lawyer and a life-long Conservative" best known for his role as a supporting cast member in the Mike Duffy soap opera, posed a…

BC Hydro worried fracking-created earthquakes a danger to northern dams

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[Wow! FOI-released documents show that, for at least seven years, BC Hydro officials have quietly feared that earthquakes triggered by natural gas industry fracking operations could damage their Peace River dams. Should the dams fail, hundreds if not thousands of people would be put at risk, there would be serious environmental consequences and the disaster would cost billions of dollars. Yet the Crown Corporation has said nothing publicly about its concerns. Click here to view the original report on this. *RON*]
Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun, 16 August 16, 2016

Internal documents show B.C. Hydro officials have had concerns since at least 2009 that earthquakes triggered by fracking are a potential risk to its Peace River dams.

The electricity-generating dams in northeastern B.C. include one of the largest earth dams in the world, the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, as well as the smaller Peace Canyon Dam, and the $9-billion Site-C dam, which is under constr…

Putin-Erdogan Meeting a Dud: No Common Ground on Syria

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[It looks now as though this whole meeting was just noise-making and posturing on both sides. Plus, I suppose, a good excuse for Putin to wring a somewhat weak apology out of Erdogan while giving him nothing in return. *RON*]
Posted on August 14, 2016 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield

Jerri-Lynn here: Erdogan met Putin in Moscow last week but as Helmer explains, failed to achieve any rapprochement in its relations with Russia, despite widespread media claims to the contrary. Both countries remain completely at odds on Syria policy. Turkey continues to turn a deaf ear to wider Russian security concerns: e.g., guaranteeing free sea passage through the so-called Turkish straits, between the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea, and the Mediterranean, and blocking any expansion of NATO or enemy operations that could hinder such access.

John Helmer is the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau i…

Venezuela Is Descending Into Chaos. Now This Issue Is on America’s Doorstep.

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["The number of Venezuelans applying for asylum is up 168 percent in fiscal 2016." I'm still finding it hard to separate spin from reality in these stories. As you may recall, a month ago we posted an interview transcript from Democracy Now! that strongly suggested Media Exaggerations of Apocalyptic Venezuela Plays into Regime Change Narrative. I.e., groups like the CIA may be spinning these stories hard to support an ouster of the existing socialist regime. *RON*]

Sara Rathodaug, Mother Jones, 14 August 2016

Earlier this year, Venezuelan journalist and political scientist Francisco Toro described his home country as "the world's most visibly failing state." And now, amid a worsening economic crisis, a crackdown on political opposition, and increasing violent crime, more and more of his countrymen are seeking haven in the United States.

Over the past year, the United States has experienced a surge in asylum applicatio…

Canadian military official fears pipeline will lead to "disaster of epic proportions"

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[Really interesting; this comes from departmental emails, not a public statement on the part of the Department of National Defense. The only actual statement from DND included in the article is very bland. *RON*]

By National Observer, 9 August 2016
Canada's Department of National Defence (DND) has serious concerns that a major pipeline project proposed by Calgary-based energy company TransCanada Corp. will lead to a "disaster of epic proportions," reported Radio-Canada on Tuesday, based on a series of internal emails.

The Department also doubts whether the company has the capacity to clean up in the event of a disaster, the French-language public broadcaster reported.

The report noted that the pipeline's proposed route would go near a half dozen Canadian Forces bases as well as cutting right through a base in Petawawa, to the northwest of Ottawa. But the emails, obtained by Radio-Canada through federal access to information legisl…

Bidding wars taking place in ‘vicious’ Greater Victoria rental market

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[Wow! Provincial election 2017. The rental accommodation vacancy rate in Victoria is 0.6% and landlords have take to renting to the highest bidder, even when a renter has already signed a lease agreement and put down a deposit. There is apparently no law against this, and the Province has done nothing about it to date. *RON*]
April Lawrence, CHEK News, 15 August 2016

WATCH: In a region with a 0.6 per cent rental vacancy rate, some units are now going to the highest bidder. April Lawrence reports.

It’s being called a crisis as an increasing number of working people face the very real threat of becoming homeless.

Jamie Hill has been making phone calls for four months and still hasn’t found a place to call home.

Hill and her husband both work and have an 8-year-old son.

They were forced out of their last home in Central Saanich after it sold to new owners, and are now living with her dad in a one-bedroom suite.

After an exhaustive search she thought she s…