The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe Mair: Rachel Notley can go to hell for threatening BC over pipeline

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley (Flickr CC Licence / Premier of Alberta) You can go to hell, Rachel Notley. Now, everyone, repeat after me. OK? Here we go. There is no risk in transporting Alberta’s bitumen through our forests, over our rivers, past our sparkling, azure lakes, through our cities, into Vancouver Harbour, over the Salish ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: It’s got to be the NDP to replace Lyin’ Liberals…but LNG complicates matters

NDP Leader John Horgan Like a large number of people in the WestVancouver- Sea-To-Sky constituency, I am breaking the usual rules – I want the NDP to form the next government but I am passionately opposed to Woodfibre LNG which the NDP candidate supports. If I were to support her, my neighbours, with every justification in ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Heartwood: How Vancouver Island lost 90% of its ancient rainforest

In Part 1 of this new 3-part mini-series titled Heartwood, filmmaker Daniel Pierce explores the endangered old-growth forests of Vancouver Island. Despite the reality that less than 10% of the prime, low-elevation old-growth remains on the island, these forests continue to be converted into second-growth tree farms.  Pierce unpacks what the loss of these forests means ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Trumplandia vs. Clarklandia: How BC stands to lose on LNG, lumber and trade

Part one in a series by Kevin Logan February 17th 2017 As the faux populist facade fades and the new reality show “Trumplandia” begins to emerge from the ruins of the Democratic elite’s embrace of hedge funds and wall street masters, one thing is crystal clear: Big oil and gas is now in the driver’s ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Note to Justin: Pipelines don’t help transition to green economy

Photo: Canada2020 / Flickr When Justin Trudeau talks of oil pipeline projects as part of an energy transition, what exactly is he talking about? That we will be on the path to reducing our dependency on fossil fuels by increasing our oil dependency in the short term? And that by immaculate conception we will reduce ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Despite Trump & Trudeau’s pipeline fetish, green economy will keep booming

US President-Elect Trump (Flickr/Gage Skidmore) and Canadian PM Trudeau (Flickr/Canada 2020) are both big on pipelines Forces at play suggest there will continue to be significant advancements in the global migration to a green economy.  Trudeau and Trump are rowing against the current. Despite Trudeau’s continued focus on tar sands extraction and limiting provincial action on ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe’s New Year’s letter to Trudeau: Time for PM to get to know BC…for real

Justin Trudeau hasn’t learned much about BC in the time he lived here and from visits like this one to the central coast in 2014 (Flickr/Justin Trudeau) Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Allow me to introduce myself. I am a lifelong, pretty old British Columbian who loves his province with the same passion I’m sure people in Trois ...

The Common Sense Canadian: If not Civil Disobedience, what? Letters to the editor?…Rafe Mair on the necessary response to Site C Dam, Kinder Morgan

84 year-old retired librarian Barbara Grant getting arrested at Burnaby Mountain (Burnaby Mountain Updates/facebook) Beyond doubt, British Columbia must get involved in two separate and substantial actions of civil disobedience, one with Site C and the other with the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline. Civil disobedience runs against the grain of many people but I beg you ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Trudeau, Notley’s defence of Kinder Morgan doesn’t wash for BC

Justin Trudeau is greeted in Alberta by Rachel Notley (Premier of Alberta/Flickr CC licence) I listened to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on CBC with Rick Cluff this week and must say she said nothing to give me cause to change my mind on Kinder Morgan. To the contrary, I asked myself how could she be so indifferent ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Gary Mason, quit lecturing Vancouverites for opposing pipelines

Recent Kinder Morgan protest in Vancouver (Photo: Lu Iz/Facebook) I simply couldn’t believe Gary Mason in Friday’s Globe and Mail In his article entitled “Sorry Vancouver: The rest of Canada needs pipelines”. I urge you to read the article so that if I misrepresent Mr. Mason you will see it for yourself. Mason gives Vancouver ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe Mair to Justin Trudeau: BC is not yours to give away

Justin Trudeau speaks at the Paris climate talks – flanked by Canadian premiers (Province of BC/Flickr) “They hang the man, and flog the woman, That steals the goose from off the common; But let the greater villain loose, That steals the common from the goose.” I’ll not waste too many words on Prime Minister Trudeau’s ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Fate of BC’s ancient forests is a question of “values”

Craig Pettitt of Valhalla Wilderness Society in the Incomappleux Valley How do we value wilderness? What metrics should we apply to an 1,800-year-old tree, or the tiny lichens that make their home on it? What numbers do we input into our calculator – ecosystem services rendered, tonnes of carbon sequestered, cubic metres of merchantable timber, jobs created? ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Trudeau will have hell to pay in BC if he approves Kinder Morgan

Recent Vancouver rally against Kinder Morgan (Photo: David Suzuki Foundation/Facebook) None should be in the slightest surprised at the anti-British Columbia stance of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. As Talleyrand famously noted when, after the fall of Napoleon the Bourbons were restored, “they learned nothing and forgot nothing”. Thus it is with the Liberals who, ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Central Coast diesel spill response slow, ineffective, serious damage done: Heiltsuk

The Nathan E. Stewart fuel barge and part-sunken tug the morning of the incident (Jordan Wilson/Pacific Wild) Judging by official statements in the aftermath of the ongoing Central Coast diesel fuel spill, the response to the disaster was relatively effective and damage minimized – a PR line largely soaked up by the mainstream media. To the people in ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Heiltsuk call for tanker ban to include fuel barges amid ongoing leak in Great Bear Sea

Sunken tug towing Nathan E. Stewart (Image submitted) A 10,000 tonne US-owned fuel barge, the Nathan E. Stewart, ran aground in Seaforth Channel on BC’s central coast early this morning and the tug that was towing it is now leaking fuel into the highly sensitive marine environment of the Great Bear Sea. According to Heiltsuk Nation ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Pipelines being driven by private equity firms through ratings agency they now own

Former federal cabinet minister and Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, whose recent work with a major private equity firm has him acting as a strong advocate for multiple pipelines.  (Canada2020/Flickr) By Joyce Nelson You may have caught the Sept. 12 headline in the Globe and Mail, the Edmonton Journal, etc: “Canada needs new energy pipelines, bond ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: With LNG approval, Trudeau govt shows true colours…but we shouldn’t be suprised

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna with Industry Minister Jim Carr (left) and BC Premier Christy Clark (right) announcing the federal government’s approval of PNWLNG (Province of BC/Flickr) Developing a climate plan to meet Canada’s Paris Agreement commitments is a challenging but achievable task for the federal government. Doing so while meeting Alberta’s and BC’s ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Opinion: Environment & Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna gets failing report card

Environment & Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna (Mike Gifford/Flickr cc licence) The following is an op-ed by Dr. Eoin Finn – B.Sc., Ph.D., MBA In October 2015, SFU Energy and Materials Research Group  Professor Mark Jaccard published a report titled “Canadian Climate Policy Report Card: 2015”. In part, it is a damning critique of the (Harper) ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Electric Vehicles are set to take off…so why is Trudeau still pushing pipelines?

Tesla Model 3 at March 2016 unveiling (Steve Jurvetson/Flickr) In my previous March 2016 article “Pipelines to Nowhere“, I made the point that the proposed Canadian pipelines are about increasing the international supply of petroleum when all the signs are that demand fossil fuels are levelling off over the longer term. For example, recent data ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Filmmaker exploring new vision for forestry with video series

In 2012, I took a fateful trip to Cortes Island – a northern gulf island three ferry rides away from Vancouver – to document the Cortes community’s fight to fend off an impending logging operation by coastal timber giant Island Timberlands. Community members took us deep into the woods privately owned by Island Timberlands and ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Longtime Lions Bay Mayor: LNG is plain dirty, violates Canada’s climate commitments

Christy Clark promotes “Clean LNG” at Vancouver conference last year (David P. Ball) By Brenda Broughton It is vital to oppose the previous government’s disregard and denial of science. However, this new government appears to be cherry-picking the science it uses and then hiding behind the science against the interests of citizens and against the ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Trudeau abandons green election promises, lacks real climate plan

Justin Trudeau talking a good game at the Global Progress summit (Canada 2020/Flickr) “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” -Albert Einstein With the recent National Energy Board approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and Justin Trudeau’s enthusiastic post-election remarks to the effect that Canada can build ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe to Justin: Kinder Morgan approval makes mockery of democracy

Prime MInister Justin Trudeau (Canada 2020/Flickr CC Licence) My Nova Scotia pen pal, the voice of common sense in this country, Silver Donald Cameron, is fond of saying “laws are made by those who have the power to enforce them.” My own variation is that the people who make the laws are the ones that ...

The Common Sense Canadian: New video shows serious dangers posed by LNG tankers

A new, short video illustrates in vivid detail the dangers posed by plans to run LNG tankers through narrow, densely populated coastal waterways in places like Howe Sound, Saanich Inlet, Prince Rupert and Kitimat. Drawing on data and studies from global leaders in the field of LNG tanker safety, the video superimposes tanker danger zones over planned ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: NDP’s Horgan too quick to dismiss Leap Manifesto

BCNDP Leader John Horgan touring Lynnterm docks in 2014 (BCNDP/Flickr cc licence) I  have a question or two for NDP leader John Horgan, given recent developments. Let me be clear: I have no animosity towards Mr. Horgan – we only met once and just by accident. At that time, several years ago, Mr. Horgan stated that he ...