2014-08-10  |  John Bennett

The National Energy Board (NEB) is continuing its undemocratic approach to pleasing its master: the oil industry. Most recently, the Calgary-based rubber stamp is trying to use the summer to hide yet another concession. On July 11th the NEB said it was going consider a request from Imperial Oil and Chevron to weaken the rules for offshore drilling in the Arctic and gave the public until August 1st to comment (some strong arguing won an extra two weeks).

What the NEB is entertaining might very well lead to an ecological disaster in the Canadian Arctic where Imperial Oil and Chevron want to operate outside the rules for drilling. They simply want to avoid the cost of drilling relief wells and, predictably, the NEB is seriously considering it. It’s a case of pinching pennies that could risk billions. For details...

2014-07-09  |  John Bennett

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not good at keeping secrets, and I particularly don’t like when governments work in secret. Governments feed us a lot of malarkey about why secrecy is essential, but 9 times out of 10 there’s no justifiable reason.

Here are some government plans developing in secret that everyone should know about.

SECRET #1

At an undisclosed location in Ottawa this week, 400 delegates from Pacific Rim countries are negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) - the latest ‘free trade’ deal our government says we just have to have.

Last January, some of the sections of the draft agreement showed up on Wiki Leaks including a chapter on dealing with the environment. The contents have fired up our US cousins because the language appears to violate a US law requiring all trade deals signed by the US to apply the same...

2014-06-23  |  Webmaster
2014-06-19  |  Webmaster
2014-06-17  |  John Bennett

June 17, 2014

Today the federal cabinet approved the Northern Gateway Tar Sands pipeline.

It’s a decision that could define our times. We are witnessing the final stages of a protracted wrestling match between our future and our past.

Can we afford to let this decision stand? Aren’t our children--born and unborn--depending on us?

I’m not going to go into all the reasons why we must end our fossil fuel addiction, and move on to a clean energy future. You’ve heard it before.

But this decision could be different. It could be a game-changer. The Northern Gateway Tar Sands pipeline could be a turning point because of the huge opposition in British Columbia —unparalleled in Canadian history:

  • 130 First Nations and over 10,000 residents have...
2014-05-22  |  John Bennett

May 22, 2014

It’s been a busy week for government propagandists. Why?

Back when I was a reporter I had a mantra I would chant to myself while writing: Who, What, When, and Why. Who, What, When, and Why? It’s particularly effective when applied to government stories, so let’s apply it to last week’s series of announcements.

WHO: The federal government that has turned a deaf ear to climate change and mitigation, and stripped itself of the ability to protect the environment by gutting the Environmental Assessment, Fisheries and Navigable Waters Acts.

WHAT: New rules for tankers that raise the ceiling on corporate liability but not enough to ensure taxpayers won’t be making a big contribution to cleaning up the next disastrous oil spill....

2014-05-08  |  John Bennett

Farley Mowat passed away this week at the age of 92. It has been thirty years since he wrote “Sea of Slaughter”, a book that I’ll never forget. He sold almost 17 million books over his long and decorated career. His books about nature (translated into 52 languages) were a major contributor not only to the Canadian environmental movement, but the global movement to protect the earth.

Millions of people around the world view Canada in a better light because of his life’s work. He mixed the serious with humour in devastating ways, making us smile one minute, cry the next and then rant with a rage over how we treat this planet.

I’ve been thinking about my favourite Farley Mowat book, “No Bird Sang”, since I heard the news today.

I first met Farley in the back room of a book store in Belleville, having arrived late for an interview following a book signing. I was late because I detoured to pick up my wife and daughter -- I didn...

2014-05-06  |  Webmaster

This week is Emergency Preparedness Week -- the kind of non-event, event that might mean we’ll see a photo (or two) of a politician at some media event, but most won’t give it a second thought.

At best, it might evoke an image of Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang Theory with his survival backpack and fluorescent arrows painted on the floor. Some of us older folks might evoke the man on a street corner shouting: “Repent the end is near!”

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Symposium on Extreme Weather: Impacts, Challenges and Adaptations, presented by the Canadian Climate Forum in Ottawa. As you would expect from the title, I heard a...

2014-04-16  |  Webmaster

By John Bennett

There were four events of note this week--well five, actually. The first two demonstrate the dissonance between the Government of Canada and the rest of the world.

Early Sunday morning the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group on Mitigation released its latest report, and on Monday the National Energy Board (NEB) posted a list of issues it will ‘consider’ before approving the proposed “Energy East” pipeline. While the IPCC warned humanity drastic changes are needed now, or else ("The high-speed mitigation train would need to leave the station soon and all of global society have to get on board,"...

            

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