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Canada Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data Suggests Country Might Miss Goal

OTTAWA, April 11 (Reuters) - Although Canada's output of greenhouse gases was almost unchanged in 2010 from 2009, the major oil producer will find it tough to meet its 2020 emissions-cut target, government figures signaled on Wednesday.

Conservative government officials hailed the data, which showed emissions in Canada rose by just 0.25 percent in 2010 from the year before, hitting 692 megatons. The economy grew by 3.2 percent in the same period.

Canada has committed to cutting emissions to 607 megatons by 2020, a goal that critics say will be very hard to meet due to big increases in production in the oil-rich tar sands of northern Alberta. Tar sands output generates more greenhouse gases than conventional oil production.
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Who's Next?

Sometimes you just don’t want to be right.

In the Sierra Club Canada national office we are busy preparing our 2011 annual report. As I go through my files from last year (wow – we certainly were busy) I came across an email that rattled me. It was the last email I sent to supporters in December. In it I outlined the disturbing developments we saw in 2011 and what I thought it all meant.

Much like watching troop movements across the frontier, I could see an impending invasion. The email, in fact, documented the beginnings of an all-out assault on environmental protection in Canada - and the protectors. We could see signs of it coming a couple of months earlier (I mused about it in my blog).... Read more »

Feds not off the hook on Lower Churchill assessment: lawyer

ST. JOHN'S, NL -- The federal government is working towards changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, but according to a lawyer with Ecojustice, those changes will be irrelevant to an ongoing court challenge to the environmental review of the Lower Churchill project.

Ecojustice is representing Grand Riverkeeper Labrador and the Sierra Club of Canada in the court case. A third participant in the case, the NunatuKavut Community Council, is being represented separately.

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Groups slam changes to environmental process

Groups are slamming the federal Conservative government's plan to speed up the environmental review process, suggesting it will become a rubber stamp that won't protect the health and safety of Canadians.

"This is about bulldozing things through over the objection of people or without thinking it through," the Sierra Club's John Bennett told CTV's Power Play.

Streamlining the environmental review process was a key plank in the Tories' first majority government budget, released Thursday.

But Bennett, the executive director of the environment watchdog, said the changes will result in weaker environmental assessments, as well as projects being approved without a full understanding of the social, economic and environmental impacts.

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Government spokesman should apologize for derogatory and inacurate comments


Dear Friends,

Below find a letter that I sent yesterday to Patricia Best of Natural Resources Canada.

It pertains to remarks she made to Canadian Press about Sierra Club Canada, which we feel are inaccurate and derogatory.

Sincerely,

John Bennett, Executive Director
Sierra Club Canada
jb@sierraclub.ca

Follow me on Twitter

Patricia Best, Director of Communications
Natural Resources Canada
21st Floor, Room C2-2
580 Booth Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E4

Wednesday, March 21, 2012M

Re: Apology

Green charities clash with Harper conservatives

OTTAWA -- The Conservatives have taken their battle with environmentalists to new levels of lunacy, some groups said Tuesday, after a Tory senator suggested they would accept funding from Al Qaeda.

"Let me ask you this, honourable senators: If environmentalists are willing to accept money from Martians, where would they draw the line on where they receive money from? Would they take money from Al Qaeda, the Hamas or the Taliban?," Senator Don Plett, the party's former president, asked in the Senate.

"It's jaw-droopingly bizarre," Devon Page, executive director of EcoJustice told The Huffington Post Canada late Tuesday.... Read more »

What worries me …

If the twentieth century taught us anything, it taught us that concentrating too much power in the hands of a few is a very dangerous thing. In fact, the recognition of the necessity of keeping competing interests apart goes back a lot further.

Democratic countries have long upheld the importance of the separation of church and state. There are too many examples of excesses that can result from state enforcement of religious belief. Look no further than Iran for a real-time reason why.

We don’t, however, question the marriage of state and ideology - more specifically, government and big business - despite the havoc this union has caused over the past century. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, no? Even in the face of the (most recent) global economic meltdown – clearly caused by the excesses of laissez-faire capitalism - government and industry continue to grow closer.

UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP... Read more »

Senate examines foreign funding of charities

The Conservative government has quietly begun looking into the charitable status of environmental groups in the Senate.

Senator Nicole Eaton is sponsoring an inquiry into what she calls "funding by foreign foundations." Eaton began her debate Tuesday by laying out what she considers to be a threat to the Canadian economy.

"This inquiry is about master manipulators who are operating under the guise of charitable organizations in an effort to manipulate our policies for their own gain," she said in the Upper Chamber.

Environmental groups don't see it that way.

"My fear is that they will just try to smear us and then walk away," said John Bennett, executive director of Sierra Club Canada. "And that they're hoping to frighten off U.S. foundations from supporting us... And they're going to try to turn off the public from supporting us."... Read more »

Green charities using foreign cash to fight Tar Sands, argues Conservative Senator

OTTAWA — Promising to reveal information that would make "your blood boil," a Conservative senator opened a new front in the federal government’s attack against environmentalists Tuesday.

“There is political manipulation. There is influence peddling. There are millions of dollars crossing borders masquerading as charitable donations,” Senator Nicole Eaton declared as she launched an inquiry in the Senate into the “interference of foreign foundations in Canada’s domestic affairs” and their “abuse” of Revenue Canada’s charitable status.
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"Mean Girls"

Do we have a principal to set things right?

It struck me the other day: Canada is stuck in a “Mean Girls” high school movie plot. Then the Robo-Call scandal broke and confirmed it.

Twenty years ago a new kid showed up in the parliamentary cafeteria. He was a big deal in Alberta. The son of Premier, but in Ottawa he was just an upstart from the country who needed to be put in his place. The in-crowd had nothing but scorn. They made fun of the way he talked, the clothes he wore, his nerdy glasses, even how he combed his hair. It wasn’t long before his dream of improving democracy was dashed and he was headed home. But he brought a few young buddies to Ottawa who stayed, vowing to teach those eastern kids a thing or two. They chose a new leader who, like Lindsay Lohan, was very talented - but with a flawed personality.... Read more »

            

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