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: Suzuki: Volkswagen cheated climate, people’s health

Photo: Ben Harrington / Flickr CC licence Volkswagen was caught cheating on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions tests by installing “defeat devices,” which allowed its diesel vehicles to pass nitrogen oxide emissions checks but spew up to 40 times allowable pollutants once they were completed. The scandal has resulted in plummeting share prices, CEO Martin ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Canada should put the brakes on misleading, ineffective fuel economy standards

Photo: Flickr/Scott Molineaux CC licence For the last several decades, the fuel consumption requirements imposed on vehicle manufacturers in Canada were the same as those applied in the US.  The premise of the Conservatives and Liberals alike has always been that Canada has no choice but to emulate the US, because Canada is part of ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Why Rafe Mair is begrudgingly voting “Yes” in Transit Plebiscite

Rafe Mair trusts Mayor Gregor Robertson (pictured) with our transportation future a tad more than the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation – despite big misgivings about transit management to date (Vision Vancouver/Twitter) I am a lifetime contrarian. Whatever I’m supposed to do, I rebel against. I have not changed much in my dotage. But I’m going to vote “Yes” in ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Cities, Transit get too small a piece of tax dollar pie

Photo: Translink Many people think of Canada as a landscape of forests, mountains, water and ice, but the Canadian experience is fast becoming focused on glass and concrete. Our 2011 census revealed that 81 per cent of us now live in cities. And despite taking up less land space, our environmental impact continues to grow. ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Public-Private Partnerships a bad deal for BC: Finance Ministry report

P3 skytrain construction by SNC-Lavalin killed many businesses on Vancouver’s Cambie St. (Wikipedia) The following is republished with permission from Policy Note – the blog of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ BC office. By Keith Reynolds The BC Finance Ministry has produced a report much more critical of Partnerships BC and its activities around public private ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Metro’s congestion tax referendum is on the wrong track: Opinion

The following is a letter to the editor from Malcolm Johnston of Rail for the Valley. One has to shake one’s head with the ‘Metro Vancouver congestion improvement tax’ referendum, as clearly the Metro mayors haven’t a clue what they are talking about. The name, Metro Vancouver congestion improvement tax is false advertising, as the ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Ontario squanders extra $8 Billion on public private partnership infrastructure: A-G

A bridge built under the P3 model is likely to cost taxpayers more than a publicly funded one, says a new report Read this Dec. 9 story from The Globe and Mail on a new report from Ontario Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk suggesting that public private partnerships are far more costly to taxpayers than publicly-funded infrastructure projects. ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Zero Waste conference talks alternatives to landfills, incinerators

An upcoming conference hosted by the Zero Waste Alliance ans Zero Waste Canada in Nanaimo, BC will explore alternatives to landfills and incinerators. “The Zero Waste Alliance (ZWA) has a clear and simple vision: a prosperous and inclusive future without waste,” says the organization’s website. A future without waste and toxics is not just a dream; ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Damaged container ship undergoes repairs to hull at Vancouver port

The CMA CGM Attila’s damaged hull, after striking the dock at Vancouver’s Centerm port (cell phone image) The container ship that struck the dock at a Vancouver port early yesterday morning is undergoing repairs to its damaged hull. The vessel, “CMA CGM Attila”, will likely remain moored at Vancouver’s Centerm container facility until at least Sunday while the ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Large container ship ‘Attila’ strikes Vancouver dock

CMA GCM Attila, moored at Vancouver’s Centerm after striking dock (Photo: Damien Gillis) A large container ship, the “CMA CGM Attila”, struck the dock at Vancouver’s Centerm container port early this morning. The website MarineTraffic.com reports that the ship arrived at 4:52 AM local time. According to the Canadian Press, the Transportation Safety Board has dispatched two officers to investigate ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Nearly 100% of US car sales could be electric in 15 yrs – the challenge is powering them with clean electricity

An electric smart car in Amsterdam – from the popular car sharing service, Car2go (Wikimedia Commons) There are those who suggest that a migration to a green economy is too expensive, that we must convert to natural gas as a transition fuel, that the subsidies for clean technologies are driving up the cost of energy, ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Some business groups want new recycling program trashed

By Steven Chua, The Canadian Press VANCOUVER – The B.C. government’s controversial new recycling program took effect Monday, irking some local business owners who say that additional costs will drive up the price of consumer goods. The new regulations require that all businesses that supply packaging and printed paper to B.C. residential customers be responsible for collecting ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Small is the new Big in sustainable urban revolution

Vancouver urban farm mixer (Photo: www.urbanfarmers.ca) “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.” That was American architect Daniel Burnham’s city-planning advice at the turn of the 20th century. More than 100 years later, he couldn’t be more wrong. Big, top-down building projects no ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Is it time for a real war on cars?

Gridlock in China forces drivers out of their cars In railing against everything from bike lanes to transit spending, pundits and politicians often raise the spectre of a “war on cars.” Of course, there is no war on cars – but there should be. Cars directly kill and hurt more people every year than most ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Nanaimo council rejects incinerator: “We won’t be Vancouver’s garbage dump”

Council chambers were overflowing with incinerator opponents last night (Photo: Trish Kuziek/Facebook) Read this April 15 story from the Nanaimo Daily News on city council’s unanimous rejection of a proposed waste incinerator to burn Metro Vancouver’s garbage at Duke Point. Nanaimo council voted unanimously Monday to rule out the city’s support for a proposed waste-to-energy incinerator in Duke Point, ...

The Common Sense Canadian: With Duke Point incinerator, property values could go up in smoke

The following is a letter from Common Sense Canadian economic columnist and Gabriola Island resident Erik Andersen to Nanaimo city council, which is hearing arguments on a controversial, proposed waste incinerator at Duke Point this evening. Over the past several decades the City of Nanaimo has single-mindedly pursued a course of beautifying the City by putting behind ...

The Common Sense Canadian: MMBC could feed incinerators, put local recyclers out of business

Gibsons Recycling Depot owners Barb Hetherington and Buddy Boyd Read this April 11 story from the Coast Reporter on the growing controversy surrounding new waste management plans – including a move to privatize and corporatize garbage and recycling in in BC and the push to build multiple incinerators to deal with Metro Vancouver’s waste. Common Sense Canadian economist Erik Andersen recently ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Can Ontario Liberals raise the green for public transit expansion?

Photo: Wikimedia Commons by Maria Babbage, The Canadian Press TORONTO – With the prospect of an election growing more likely every day, the minority Liberals’ spring budget may turn out to be more campaign platform than peace treaty. It will also need to lay out a plan to fund a massive expansion of public transit ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Transport industry driving a ‘SmartWay’ to tackle emissions

(Photo: Translog) by Jesse Yardley An innovative new method for tracking the transport industry’s fuel consumption may hold the key to reducing carbon emissions, according to a group of academics and industry representatives. Government partner Natural Resources Canada explains, “The SmartWay Transport Partnership is a collaboration designed to help businesses reduce fuel costs while transporting goods in ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Density battle goes to vote at Langley Council

Photo: Pamela Beatty Forbes / “LEAVE BROOKSWOOD ALONE” facebook page A battle has been brewing in recent months over the future of Langley, BC – a rural community on the edge of Metro Vancouver, known as the horse capital of the province. Plans to triple the density of one Langley Township neighbourhood – Brookswood and Fernridge ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Economist: BC’s private waste, recycling plan is garbage

Money, money, money. Just like the ABBA song says; it makes the world go round.  Our garbage is the newest target for those who love only money and lots of it. A decade ago some of those sharpest guys in the room, runaways from bankrupting Enron, secured legal authority from President Bush over all the production ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Urban infrastructure investment is path to Canada’s economic future

Canada’s federal government recently announced $14 billion in new funding to help municipalities repair and replace aging infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, sewer lines, energy production and distribution systems, and subways and other public transit. About $1 billion is dedicated to smaller communities, but most of the funding will target urban areas, which makes sense. ...

The Common Sense Canadian: Clark’s transit referendum going off the rails

Read this Jan. 22 Vancouver Sun editorial by Don Cayo on the folly that is BC Premier Christy Clark’s proposed provincial referendum on funding public transit going forward. You would think Christy Clark, more than most, would understand that just because it was the premier’s idea doesn’t mean it’s a good one. Clark got her first taste ...

The Common Sense Canadian: First Nation blockades water intake construction over salmon impacts

Cayoose Creek, where construction of a municipal water intake may be harming salmon habitat (Jim Upton) LILLOOET, B.C. – Members of a First Nation in Lillooet, B.C., have set up a blockade near that Fraser River district to protest work they believe is destroying fish habitat on disputed land. Sekw’el’was Chief Michelle Edwards says the blockade on ...