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“Powerful” Hurricane Teddy Strengthens To Cat 4 With Canada In Crosshairs; Tropical Depression 22 Forms In Gulf

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is closely monitoring “powerful” Hurricane Teddy as it continues to churn in the Atlantic Ocean and could make landfall in Canada early next week.

As of 0500 ET Friday, Teddy is generating 130 mph winds (Category 4) while moving northwest at 12 mph and located about 900 miles southeast of Bermuda. The system is expected to make landfall near Nova Scotia, Canada, as a Category 2, on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Chief meteorologist Cindy Day of SaltWire Network, a Canadian newspaper, said Teddy “would come into Canadian waters late Monday night, and we’d start to get impacted Tuesday afternoon in Nova Scotia, Wednesday in Newfoundland.”

“It’s still quite a distance out and a lot of things could happen between now and then. 

“It looks like it’s going to intensify to a 4 maybe by the end of the afternoon (Friday), so it’s a powerful system. The danger with this system is that it’s not tracking over or close to land. When systems do that, the outer bands … when they start to brush up against coastline or land, it weakens the storm system. There’s no land around. It’s out in the mid-Atlantic and it’s just churning and the sea surface temperatures are warmer than normal. So right now, there’s nothing to weaken this system,” said Day. 

Day said some weather models have Teddy taking a northwest turn before heading for Nova Scotia, indicating landfall could be between Yarmouth and Halifax.

“That’s how I see the path unfolding, but again a little shift in the system over the Labrador Sea and the high coming in from Quebec and that could get squeezed further to the left or further to right. It looks like there’s going to be some impact, but how significant and where landfall is going to be – it’s a little bit too soon to say just yet.” 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If Trudeau Suddenly Looks Green, Here’s Why

If Trudeau Suddenly Looks Green, Here’s Why

Fossil fuels flagging, the economy demands reinvention. Expect a bold gamble of a throne speech.

Justin Trudeau’s imminent green gamble, casting the dice with long odds against rolling lucky eleven, is a risky move.

On Sept. 23, Trudeau will put his government, and his legacy, on the line with a throne speech. It faces a confidence vote. If the Liberals should lose that vote, the government would fall.

Then Canadians would be plunged into their first national campaign held during a pandemic, left to scratch their heads over myriad questions.

Who would the citizenry blame for sending them to the polls with COVID-19 still very much on the prowl?

How would newly minted CPC leader Erin O’Toole, a Harper retread, have a chance of winning? It doesn’t help that the convention that crowned him on national television looked like it was run by Curly, Larry, and Moe. Then there was that disingenuous victory handshake with Peter MacKay, the leadership rival O’Toole asked the RCMP to investigate as a thief. Worst of all, O’Toole is the invisible man of politics. Most voters wouldn’t recognize the new CPC leader if he were standing beside them at the bus-stop wearing an Erin O’Toole t-shirt.

Despite denials from party stalwarts, the NDP don’t have enough chips to even sit at the high-stakes poker table of a national election. How could Jagmeet Singh be competitive if the party can’t afford to lease a plane for their national leader, as was the case in 2019?

In that election, the NDP plunged from 44 seats in 2015 to a mere 24 in 2019, making them the fourth party in parliament behind the Liberals, Conservatives, and Bloc Québécois.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Private Equity Is Bargain Hunting In Canada’s Oil Patch

Private Equity Is Bargain Hunting In Canada’s Oil Patch

After two months of an encouraging—if not half-hearted–rebound, oil prices have gone into reverse gear once again. Futures tied to WTI crude were down a whopping 8% on Monday morning to trade at $36.35/barrel, a level they last touched two months ago as the markets come under a fresh wave of pressure from a stalling recovery in demand as well as a mistimed expansion of production by OPEC that threatens to reverse the gains by the cartel’s latest production cuts.  The latest rout has elicited another round of price cuts by Saudi Arabia in a situation eerily reminiscent of the oil price war that sent the markets crashing into negative territory for the first time ever.

But as the debt-riddled U.S. shale patch braces for a new reality of ‘Lower Forever’ with massive asset writeoffs amid a growing wave of bankruptcies, its equally distressed neighbor further north has resorted to a different trick: Mergers and Acquisitions.

Starved of vital capital by weary banks and shareholders, small- and mid-sized oil and gas companies in Canada are scrambling to find partners in a bid to become bigger and– hopefully–more solvent.

Meanwhile, bargain-hunting private equity firms have pounced on the opportunity, hoping to buy distressed assets for pennies on the dollar.

WTI Oil Price 30-Days Change

Source: Business Insider

Source: Visual Capitalist

Orphaned Businesses

After years of continuous underperformance and paltry returns following a six-year downturn by the sector, cheap credit for Canada’s oil and gas companies has dried up, forcing them to look for less conventional means to survive.

The Covid-19 crisis has only served to worsen the situation, with the S&P/TSX Capped Energy–Canada’s equivalent of the U.S.’ Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE)–down 46.8% in the year-to-date vs. -41.9% return by XLE.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘They’re Trying to Take My House’

‘They’re Trying to Take My House’

A massive LNG project faces rising opposition in Oregon. The quiet backer is a Canadian firm.

For the past several years, Mike Williams has had hanging over his head the possibility that a Calgary oil and gas company could kick him and his family out of their home. The Pembina Pipeline Corporation is trying “to fuck me over,” he told The Tyee.

Williams, his wife Jane and their four-month-old daughter live on a rural property in southern Oregon with fir trees “you can wrap your arms around” and a rolling hill leading to a wetland. Several years ago, he started getting calls from Pembina asking him to sell the property. At first, he claims they offered him $78,000, which Williams considered an insult. That would barely allow him to purchase “a trailer in a mobile park,” he said. Then the offer apparently went up to $300,000.

Now Williams worries that the company will use eminent domain, whereby the government allows private property to be taken over for projects deemed in the public interest, to run a 36-inch natural gas pipeline through his drinking water supply and turn the home he built from salvaged materials into a staging area for the construction. “That’s the worst thing,” he said. “They’re going to let a Canadian company eminent domain a U.S. citizen. It’s wrong.”

That may be what’s happening in private. But in public, the pipeline’s defenders are telling a much different story — in fact, their strategy is to not even mention Pembina by name.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Evil Geniuses: How the Rich Took Control of America (and Canada)

Evil Geniuses: How the Rich Took Control of America (and Canada)

Kurt Andersen looks at the not-so-secret conspiracy by the rich, right and big business.

They may have sentenced Leonard Cohen to 20 years of boredom for trying to change the system from within, but a whole generation of American conservatives were richly rewarded for doing just that.

As Kurt Andersen says in summarizing his own book, “Evil Geniuses chronicles the quite deliberate re-engineering of our economy and society since the 1960s by a highly rational confederacy of the rich, the right and big business.”

Canada, Britain and many other countries were pulled along in the Americans’ wake, though without quite the same awful results. Canada may be able to recover, but it will not be easy.

Andersen admits the re-engineering of America sounds like a great conspiracy theory. But he documents the efforts to transform the country meticulously and credibly.

That’s possible in part because the conspirators made no attempt to conceal themselves; on the contrary, the arch-conspirator was a famous corporate lawyer, Lewis Powell, who authored the memorandum that sparked the movement in 1971 and was soon after appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Taking the 1960s radicals more seriously than he should have, Powell argued for long-term changes that would further enrich the wealthy at the expense of workers and the middle class.

The memorandum was probably the single most influential American document since George F. Kennan’s “long telegram” of 1946, which set the terms of the Cold War that followed. Corporate leaders fell in behind Powell, and began to pour millions into think tanks, foundations and law schools — not to mention journalism scholarships to develop a new generation of right-wing pundits.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Press Groups Slam Deporting of Danish Journalist Covering Pipeline Fight

Press Groups Slam Deporting of Danish Journalist Covering Pipeline Fight

‘Sobering.’ Foreign and Canadian organizations criticize blocked entry to Kristian Lindhart at YVR.

Days after a Canadian border guard denied Danish journalist Kristian Lindhardt entry into Vancouver to cover the fight over the Trans Mountain pipeline, journalism associations here and abroad have “condemned” the deportation as an attack on press freedoms.

“Journalism is of vital importance particularly in times of crisis. Using COVID as an excuse to block a journalist is simply unacceptable,” said Martin O’Hanlon, president of the Canadian media union CWA Canada, in a statement put out on Tuesday by several organizations.

“It is especially troubling because COVID is now being used by many regimes as yet another way to crack down on press freedom, and Canada should be setting a positive example for the world. We urge the Canada Border Services Agency to reverse this decision,” said the statement.

That was echoed in Europe, where the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists urged the Canadian government “to clarify the situation and guarantee freedom of information and access rights for foreign journalists.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic must not be used as an excuse to impede certain media coverages and hamper press freedom,” the organization’s general secretary Anthony Bellanger said in the statement. “The Canadian authorities haven’t provided a valid explanation to deport Mr. Lindhardt.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Danish Journalist Arrived to Cover the TMX Pipeline. The Guard at YVR Decided to Deport Him

A Danish Journalist Arrived to Cover the TMX Pipeline. The Guard at YVR Decided to Deport Him

Kristian Lindhardt says Canada’s laws stifle press freedom afforded ‘during every crisis.’

When Danish journalist Kristian Lindhardt arrived at the Vancouver airport on Friday, he knew he would face additional levels of border scrutiny because of the coronavirus. Lindhardt wasn’t too concerned, though, because he has international press credentials from Denmark’s version of CBC and a statement from Chief Reuben George of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation explaining that Lindhardt is here to report on the Trans Mountain pipeline. Lindhardt had also made all the necessary arrangements for a 14-day quarantine in Vancouver.

But just as Lindhardt was about to get through customs a border guard pulled him aside. The guard questioned him for hours and made him sign a document promising to fly back to Denmark today. “I asked what happens if I don’t sign them,” Lindhardt told The Tyee over the phone Saturday morning, just hours before his flight back to Europe was set to depart. “And he said he would detain me in a jail cell.”

The B.C. government currently deems “newspapers, television, radio, call centres, online news outlets and other media services” as essential work. But there is no direction from the federal government saying journalists must be let into the country, according to Green Party MP and former leader of the party Elizabeth May, who has looked into the issue. At the end of the day, it’s up to individual border guards to decide who can enter and who can’t.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Canada’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Inches Forward, But Opposition Intensifies

Canada’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Inches Forward, But Opposition Intensifies

Tiny House Warriors rally near Blue River, BC

Late one night this past April, four people on off-road vehicles drove into a small, Indigenous village near the town of Blue River in British Columbia, Canada. It was dark and the vehicles drove through deep snow, smashing through wooden signs and barriers that guarded the village of tiny houses, erected in the path of a long-distance oil pipeline that runs from Alberta to the Pacific Coast.

The attackers punched and kicked a man, shouting profanity and racial slurs. One of them stole a truck and used it to mow down a display of red dresses, hung as a memorial to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, who are disproportionally affected by violence. The driver then crashed the truck into one of the houses.

The small houses were built by Secwepemc and Ktunaxa people, who built them to assert their rights over unceded Indigenous land, through which an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is slated to carry diluted tar sands oil. Members of the village believe the attack was related to their opposition to the pipeline.

Confrontation between the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and a variety of Indigenous and environmental groups is heating up, precisely because the new pipeline is now moving forward with construction after years of legal battles.

The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau purchased the Trans Mountain system from Kinder Morgan in 2018 in order to keep the expansion alive. Texas-based Kinder Morgan was about to scrap the project, but Canada bought it for C$4.5 billion and vowed to see a second, “twin,” pipeline built alongside the existing line. The expansion would triple the system’s capacity to 890,000 barrels of oil per day, allowing Alberta’s tar sands to expand to overseas markets.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

End the Navy War Games in the Pacific Ocean

End the Navy War Games in the Pacific Ocean

They dirty our waters, threaten health and have harmed women and girls. Cancel RIMPAC.

Two Canadian warships, the HMCS Regina and the HMCS Winnipeg, recently left to participate in the Exercise Rim of the Pacific. It’s the largest naval war game in the world and takes place across the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.

In September, people all over BC are meeting to talk about what’s on their minds. You should join them.

RIMPAC is a biennial military exercise led by the United States navy to enhance war readiness and interoperability among allied countries. The navies of 25 nations participate and deploy surface ships, aircraft, submarines and personnel. Canada has participated since RIMPAC’s inception in 1971.

This year, the Royal Canadian Navy has sent two missile-laden frigates with 500 sailors and torpedo-carrying Cyclone helicopters from its Esquimalt base in B.C. to Hawaii.

During RIMPAC, the navies jointly conduct live-fire testing, ship-sinking, submarine warfare and amphibious assault. They also engage in air force training, precision bombing and urban warfare practice. The exercise is a massive show of force by western navies in the Pacific region and provocative to China, which has been prohibited from participating.

The multinational exercise is typically held for six weeks from June to August. However, the pandemic means this year’s RIMPAC was scaled down to a two-week period from Aug. 17 to 31 and will be modified to mostly at-sea training.

But with our oceans in grave peril and the pandemic still raging, RIMPAC should be permanently cancelled. For over five decades, Hawaiians have protested this large-scale naval exercise citing the adverse environmental and social impacts. Canadians must join their protest and pressure our government to not participate.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Alberta’s Environment Minister Cheered on Coal Mining in New Areas before Restrictions Were Dropped

Alberta’s Environment Minister Cheered on Coal Mining in New Areas before Restrictions Were Dropped

Months before ending the Coal Policy, the Kenney government issued letters of support for open-pit projects.

Half a year before the Alberta government abruptly rescinded a 44-year-old policy protecting its Rocky Mountain flanks from coal open-pit mining, its ministers were already sending “letters of support” to a new Australian coal mining corporation trying to raise capital on the open market.

Valory Resources Inc. is just one of several Australian firms planning to excavate open-pit coal mines along the Rockies’ eastern slopes, a key source of fresh water previously off limits to surface mining until last June.

That’s when the Kenney government cancelled the protective Coal Policy established in 1976. Under the cover of the pandemic, it did so with no public consultation.

The letters of support — one from Alberta’s minister of tourism and the other from the minister of environment — indicate Valory’s plans were already understood and favoured by the Kenney government well before it changed regulations to make them possible.

Valory, a private company now trying to raise capital for the project, displays the letters in its promotional materials (see page 24 in this pdf).

In a presentation to the town of Rocky Mountain House in central Alberta last month, Valory Resources boasted that it had “recently met with key members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and received strong statements of support… which indicates that the Alberta provincial government are ‘pro-development and open for business.’”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Coastal GasLink Gets Green Light to Start Pipeline Work Near Unist’ot’en Healing Centre

Coastal GasLink Gets Green Light to Start Pipeline Work Near Unist’ot’en Healing Centre

BC approves impact studies and calls for consultation with Wet’suwet’en as work proceeds in contested area.

Wetsuweten-Cover.jpg
Freda Huson (Howilhkat), director of the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre, continued singing as the RCMP arrested her at the site on Feb. 10. Photo by Amanda Follett Hosgood.

The province’s Environmental Assessment Office has granted Coastal GasLink permission to begin pipeline construction near the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre, the scene of a standoff and arrests in February.

On Thursday, the office issued seven letters confirming its approval of an impact assessment report submitted July 17 by the pipeline company. Coastal GasLink can now begin work on its natural gas pipeline in the Morice River Technical Boundary Area south of Smithers, B.C.

Completion and approval of the 324-page report was a condition of the company’s environmental assessment certificate, initially granted in 2014.

Until 2019 the company was unable to access terrain near the healing centre to do impact assessments, because the Wet’suwet’en house group had gated the Morice River bridge at its territorial boundary. Coastal GasLink submitted an initial report in November, and the Environmental Assessment Office requested additional information in February.

The letters issued Thursday were addressed to Coastal GasLink, four Wet’suwet’en band councils and the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, which represents the nation’s hereditary chiefs.

By far the longest, at 11 pages, was the letter to Unist’ot’en Hereditary Chief Knedebeas, whose English name is Warner William.

In it, Nathan Braun, acting assistant deputy minister for the Environmental Assessment Office, acknowledges the house group’s lack of consent to the project and recent willingness to engage in dialogue to mitigate impacts to the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre, located a kilometre from the pipeline route.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Shortage of $50 Canadian Bills?

Shortage of $50 Canadian Bills?

A reader sent in this photo that was posted at the head office branch of Bank of Montreal in Vancouver, which is one of the largest banks in Canada. This is a trend that is beginning to appear around the world. However, central banks are using the virus as an excuse to cut off the supply of paper money to go all digital. This is not necessarily in accordance with the political direction of the immediate political agenda. It appears to be unfolding autonomously just to get people accustomed to the idea that physical money is on its way out.

There is a rise in hoarding cash globally. Canadian dollars are being hoarded domestically and to some extent in Asia alongside the US dollar. Europeans and Canadians are used to paper money and coins being canceled routinely so the average person understands that they cannot hoard euros.

In the case of Canada, the paper currency of the colonial governments, prior to each entering confederation, are no longer valid as was the case with the colonial paper money issued by the various states before joining the United States. However, the Dominion of Canada currency of Her Majesty’s Government issued 1870 and 1935, is also not valid. Additionally, Canadian chartered banks, from pre-Confederation to 1944, which also issued currency, is also not valid. Canada, like Europe, old banknotes are canceled and can be redeemed at the Bank of Canada.

Wet’suwet’en Fear Contaminated Soil Cleanup Is Creating New Risks

Wet’suwet’en Fear Contaminated Soil Cleanup Is Creating New Risks

Waste from diesel spills by Coastal GasLink and RCMP is being dumped in local landfill.

RCMPTarpCover.jpg
Tarp covering spill site at RCMP’s Community-Industry Safety Office, which was set up last year to patrol protests where Coastal GasLink is building a pipeline to transport natural gas. Photo: submitted.

Efforts to clean up diesel spills by the RCMP and Coastal GasLink in Wet’suwet’en territory risk spreading the contamination, the First Nation has warned.

Mike Ridsdale, environmental assessment co-ordinator for the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, the central office for the nation, said the waste is being moved to a nearby landfill where it will still pose a threat.

“We’ve had two spills where the contaminants were knowingly moved into another watershed and are now threatening our water,” Ridsdale said. “This is unacceptable to the Wet’suwet’en, and our yintah (territory) should not suffer from this poorly designed remediation.”

Government officials are defending the transfer of 2,351 tonnes of contaminated soil and gravel to a nearby landfill instead of a site farther away that’s designed to take hazardous waste.

The materials came from two separate spills, one at a Coastal GasLink work camp and the other at the RCMP Community-Industry Safety Office, both south of Houston on the Morice West Forest Service Road.

Police established the remote detachment to monitor potential conflicts over the building of Coastal GasLink’s natural gas pipeline, which is opposed by Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

Each spill is estimated at about 500 litres. The spill at the RCMP detachment occurred about 100 metres from the Morice River.

The contaminated soil is being taken to the Knockholt Landfill east of Houston, which is within a kilometre of the Bulkley River. According to the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako’s website, the landfill is suitable for residential, commercial and institutional waste, including food, wood, animal carcasses and scrap metal. Industrial waste is not accepted.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Security Camera Captures Heavily Armed RCMP at Wet’suwet’en Cultural Site

Security Camera Captures Heavily Armed RCMP at Wet’suwet’en Cultural Site

RCMP have no reason to carry assault weapons or even be at the newly constructed smokehouse, say spokespersons.

RCMPTrailSecurityCamera.jpg
RCMP officers and Coastal GasLink pipeline workers captured on trail camera despite lack of environmental assessment approvals. Photo submitted.

Members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation are challenging RCMP actions on their territory after a security camera captured images of police with assault rifles checking an empty building located deep in the woods.

The building, a smokehouse that will soon be used to process fish, was built this spring at the request of Gidimt’en Clan Hereditary Chief Woos. It is on the Morice River about one kilometre from the Morice West Forest Service Road, not far from the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre where conflict between Wet’suwet’en members and pipeline builders began a decade ago.

The long dispute came to a head in January 2019 when heavily armed RCMP officers enforced an injunction by removing barricades and arresting 14 people opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline through Wet’suwet’en territory. Earlier this year large RCMP operations again removed barricades and arrested dozens at several camps over five days.

A trail camera installed to monitor the Gidimt’en smokehouse captured two RCMP visits this month, including images of three officers, one carrying what appears to be a semi-automatic Colt C8 assault rifle, surrounding the building.

According to Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, the officers are members of a Quick Response Team assigned to the Community-Industry Safety Office, a remote detachment established to police the Morice West Forest Service Road following the arrests in January 2019.

“The photos being circulated online relate to recent patrols and the check of a newly constructed building which is on the pipeline’s right of way and is therefore in breach of the BC Supreme Court injunction order,” the statement said. “We understand that CGL has posted a notice on the building advising of this breach.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Canada’s Oil And Gas Industry Is Critical To Its Economic Survival

Canada’s Oil And Gas Industry Is Critical To Its Economic Survival

  • Canada’s oil and gas industry is yet to receive any funds from the federal government despite being that largest industry in the country.
  • The nation’s economic recovery will be intimately linked with the recovery of its oil and gas sector.
  • Top executives at oil and gas firms are still waiting for specifics on the loan program

Canada sees the oil and gas industry as crucial to its economy and economic recovery after the pandemic, and the federal government is working on getting funds through to the industry, which hasn’t seen any financial help from the loan programs, Federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan said.

“The bottom line is the country is not going to recover unless the oil and gas sector recovers,” Calgary Herald columnist Chris Varcoe quoted O’Regan as saying on Monday on an online seminar with Calgary-based ARC Energy Research Institute.

“This is the biggest industry in the country. It’s our biggest export, so there is a lot on the line for everybody,” the minister said.

Canada’s federal government has set up programs to support businesses, including in the oil and gas industry, with relief financing to help them overcome the crash in oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada’s oil firms, however, were still struggling early this month to understand what it takes to qualify for a federal government program. Meanwhile, industry representatives said they were unaware of any firm that could access financing under those programs.  

Top executives at many Canadian oil firms are still waiting for specifics regarding the program for loans while their companies review eligibility criteria. Some managers believe that the federal government’s intentions are good, but the details are still unclear. Others feel deceived and question whether the federal government is sincerely intent on helping the oil industry.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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