The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: What it would take for the NDP to start winning

Outgoing NDP Leader Tom Mulcair at the party’s 2016 convention in Edmonton (USW/Flickr) I’ve watched the NDP with considerable interest since it’s foundation in 1961 as an amalgamation of organized labour and other left-wing groups. I thought that it would form government within a decade because  the Conservative Party would fold and go away, the ...

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: Search for future Governor General raises ghosts of Canada’s scandalous past

Former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and outgoing Governor General David Johnston (Canada 2020/Flickr cc licence) This is not a new story – it goes back to 2008. In that year, the quintessential Toronto, true blue lawyer, David Johnston, received a call asking if he would write the terms of reference for a public inquiry. ...

The Common Sense Canadian: BC Hydro being used to funnel tens of billions to Liberal friends

By Norman Farrell – republished from In-sights Readers may tire of reports on BC Hydro but the more I examine this public utility, the more convinced I am that citizens of BC are victims of massive financial deception. In 20 years leading up to 1996, BC Hydro’s average annual revenue from trading in North American ...

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 ...

The Common Sense Canadian: 90% of world’s new electricity coming from renewables: Welcome to the end of the fossil fuel era

Solar installation class (Haggerston Community College/Flickr CC licence) According to the International Energy Agency, a staggering 90% of all new electrical capacity brought online around the world in 2015 came in the form of renewable energy. That same year, China invested a record $110 Billion in clean tech – virtually 100% of its electrical capital – and ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Gutless Horgan caves to union, apologies for opposing LNG project

BCNDP leader John Horgan (BCNDP/Flickr) Apparently, according to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and BC NDP leader John Horgan, we have a new doctrine in Canada which essentially says that Jobs Come Ahead Of Crisis When A Powerful Union Leader Says So. Any free society, as part of its basic philosophy, permits citizens to better themselves, ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: It’s the end of the newspaper as we know it…and I feel fine

Nine-year-old newsie and his 7-year-old brother ‘Red’ – 1915 (Photo: Lewis Wickes Hine/Shorpy) When I was born, well, quite a while ago, R.B. Bennett was Prime Minister of Canada, Herbert Hoover was President of the US, Ramsay Macdonald was Prime Minister of the UK, Simon Fraser Tolmie was Premier of BC, and Louis Taylor was ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: NDP’s LNG reversal is a game-changer for BC election

Important events don’t always seem to be so. So it is with the changes last month in both the Green party and the NDP. Going back, say a fortnight, the ruling Liberals were unpopular as hell, led by an airhead who likes to have her picture taken and ride in airplanes. Despite that, I would ...

The Common Sense Canadian: From ‘Clean Coal’ to ‘Ethical Oil’: How propaganda (actually) works

Republished from DeSmog Blog By James Hoggan Political Propaganda employs the ideals of liberal democracy to undermine those very ideals, the dangers of which, not even its architects fully understand. In the early years of DeSmog’s research into environmental propaganda, I thought of industry PR campaigns like “junk science,” “clean coal,” and “ethical oil” as ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Weaver, BC Greens should quit backing private river power sham

Dr. Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Green Party, has long supported IPPs It’s been a disappointing week. We all have them. In a moment, I’ll get to my frustration with the BC Green Party and its leader Dr. Andrew Weaver – but my disappointment started with a letter from Fair Voting Canada (FVC) in ...

The Common Sense Canadian: The NDP’s only shot at winning in BC: Embrace the NEW ECONOMY

BCNDP Leader John Horgan has a tough road to hoe to win the next election (BCNDP/Flickr) The following is Damien Gillis’ rebuttal to colleague Rafe Mair’s recent piece, “By Backing LNG, the Horgan NDP lost election before it began” I agree with my colleague Rafe Mair on most things – including his commentary that John Horgan ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Elizabeth May and the Greens should double down on BC

Federal Green Leader Elizabeth May with Provincial Leader Andrew Weaver (Green party/facebook) It being just over a year until the next provincial election I fret that people really have no choice.  The government is bloody awful and the opposition is scarcely a government in waiting and a lousy opposition to boot – what to do? ...

The Common Sense Canadian: With Site C, LNG Trudeau govt already breaking promises to First Nations, environment

Justin Trudeau and Jody Wilson-Raybould meet in Hartley Bay in 2014 (Flickr / Justin Trudeau) It all started off so well. Justin Trudeau launched his career as Prime Minister with big promises to First Nations and the growing number of Canadians concerned about the environment. He installed indigenous MPs in key portfolios like Justice and Fisheries; vowed a ...

The Common Sense Canadian: 130 scientists slam Lelu Island LNG report; last chance for public comment

Juvenile salmon at Flora Bank, where a controversial LNG terminal is proposed (Tavish Campbell) Over 130 scientists are slamming the draft environmental report into a proposed LNG terminal on Lelu Island over salmon habitat and other key issues. The concerns – expressed in a letter yesterday calling on the Trudeau Government to disregard the draft report on the ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Politicians shouldn’t be cowed into keeping mum on Saanich LNG project, says eminent lawyer

Artist’s rendering of proposed floating LNG terminal in Saaninch Inlet – Malahat LNG A battle is brewing in Saanich Inlet over a proposed floating LNG terminal – long before the proponent, Steelhead LNG, has even filed its formal application. In recent weeks, an increasingly bizarre controversy has erupted over whether or not elected Cowichan Valley Regional ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: By backing LNG, the Horgan NDP lost election before it began

BCNDP leader John Horgan (BCNDP/Flickr) The following is the first in a two-part opinion letter series. In a sequel letter, Common Sense Canadian publisher Damien Gillis will do what he rarely does: disagree with his old pal and partner, Rafe Mair. Dear John Horgan, I hate to say this, but I told you so, and the flock of chickens ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Pipelines to Nowhere: Energy East, Kinder Morgan make no sense amid global green energy boom, tanking oil market

Images: Lindsay G/Flickr (left), Minoru Karamatsu/Flickr (right) Most financial analysts, economists and energy experts would have us believe that the fossil fuel sectors, and the petroleum sector in particular, are in a slump, that this is cyclical, and things will eventually normalize.  This is because their “training” is based on the assumption that the future ...

The Common Sense Canadian: “In defence of oil industry”: Sun editorial shows Postmedia’s colours

We will work with CAPP (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) to amplify our energy mandate and to be a part of the solution to keep Canada competitive in the global marketplace. The National Post will undertake to leverage by all means editorially, technically and creatively to further this critical conversation. -Douglas Kelly, Publisher, National Post ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: MP’s Woodfibre LNG meetings to focus on climate…what about fish, tanker and health risks?

Liberal MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones (Flickr/CreativeMornings Vancouver/Matthew Smith) Well, there’s great excitement in the federal constituency of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country – Liberal MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones is having not one, not two, but count ’em, three public hearings on the proposed Woodfibre LNG plant, far and away the most contentious issue in this neck ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Ex-Hydro CEO: Injunction vs. Site C campers “Fundamentally flawed”

Former BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen testifying at National Energy Board hearing Republished with permission from Desmog Canada By Sarah Cox Former BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen says BC Hydro’s claim that a one-year delay in Site C dam construction will add $420 million to the project’s $8.8 billion cost is “effectively illusionary” and based ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Trudeau promises climate test for LNG…now will he stick to his word?

For PM Trudeau (right), sticking to his climate promises on LNG means pouring cold water on Christy Clark’s (left) energy vision (Flickr/Province of BC) By Graeme Pole In 1966, American psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote: “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Battery breakthroughs jump start renewable energy

Photo courtesy of AllGrid Energy of Australia Remote Australian communities often use diesel generators for power. They’re expensive to run and emit pollution and greenhouse gases. Even people who don’t rely entirely on generators use Australia’s power grid, which is mostly fuelled by polluting, climate-altering coal. Now, one company is showing that supplying Australia’s energy ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Tuesday is BC’s Annual “Deception Day” (a.k.a. Budget Day)

Minister of Finance Mike de Jong delivers a “balanced budget” in 2013 (Province of BC/Flickr) This coming Tuesday will be Annual Deception Day in the BC legislature as the Minister of Finance sets forth the budget for the coming year. That it is a deception, perhaps self-deception, can’t be blamed entirely on this government, since it’s ...

The Common Sense Canadian: LNG plants do kill salmon, Russian scientists warn BC

A BC sockeye salmon spawning (Stan Probocsz/Watershed Watch) The red flags keep popping up for BC’s vaunted LNG plans. Last week, Shell became the latest company to put its final investment decision for a proposed plant in Kitimat on hold due to the collapse of the global export market. This week, a draft federal environmental ...