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Canada border officers vote to strike, warn of supply chain disruption

Canada border officers vote to strike, warn of supply chain disruption

Labor action could begin Aug. 6

Thousands of Canada Border Services Agency personnel have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike – something that could throw a wrench into port, cross-border trucking, airfreight and international parcel operations.

The strike could happen as early as Aug. 6, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and its Customs and Immigration Union said on Tuesday. The union represents some 8,500 CBSA employees, including officers serving at ports of entry across the country.

The threat of a strike comes as Canada prepares to reopen its land border to nonessential travel for the first time since March 2020. The timing wasn’t lost on the union, which warned that a strike could lead to “significant disruption to the flow of goods.”

The impacts could bring delays to commercial vehicle traffic and impact parcel deliveries and duties collection, the union said.

CBSA officers serving in essential positions are legally barred from striking. But as American Shipper reported, the legal definition of essential is narrow in scope and doesn’t include collection of duties and taxes, according to a federal tribunal ruling.The Port of Vancouver appears particularly vulnerable as it contends with an unprecedented level of container ship traffic. As the largest port in Canada, any disruption there could have impacts throughout the country and intermodal rail and trucking operations.

The union members have been without a contract since 2018 and are seeking pay parity with other Canadian law enforcement agencies and protections against what they allege is a toxic workplace culture.

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

Defund the Canadian Military

Defund the Canadian Military

Progressives should be pushing to defund or abolish the Canadian military. But, first we need to stop bolstering its capacity to kill in US and NATO lead wars.

Wednesday the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute and Canadian Voice of Women for Peace released a public letter opposing Canada’s plan “to spend tens of billions of dollars on unnecessary, dangerous, climate destroying fighter jets.” Signatories include Canadian musicians Neil Young, Teagan and Sarah and Sarah Harmer as well as environmentalists David Suzuki and Naomi Klein. The No new fighter jets for Canada statement is also signed by authors Michael Ondaatje Yann Martel and Gabor Maté as well as sitting MPs, former MPs, city councillors, a Senator, MPP and former UN ambassador. Prominent international figures such as Roger Waters, Daryl Hannah and Noam Chomsky have also backed a call addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The jets are expected to cost about $19 billion but the full life cycle cost of the planes will be closer to $77 billion. These resources could fund clean drinking water on reserves, an exhaustive search of all unmarked graves at residential ‘schools’ and plenty of indigenous run cooperative housing. Or “$77 billion could turbocharge a just transition away from fossil fuels”, notes the letter.

While the letter highlights better ways to use the resources, it also points out that “purchasing new jets will entrench fossil-fuel militarism”. Fighter jets consume large amounts of heavy carbon emitting fuel and their high-altitude release point increases the climatic effect.

But, the primary reason to oppose fighter jets is their violent nature. “Canada’s current fleet of fighter jets has bombed Libya, Iraq, Serbia and Syria”, notes the letter. “Many innocent people were killed directly or as a result of the destruction of civilian infrastructure and those operations prolonged conflicts and/or contributed to refugee crises.”

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

BC’s Methane Emissions Are Double What Government Thought: Study

BC’s Methane Emissions Are Double What Government Thought: Study

The province’s own research has found flaws in how natural gas was detected and measured.

Methane emissions from natural gas fracking in B.C. are about double what the government has assumed, according to a recent study initiated by the province and the BC Oil and Gas Commission.

The discrepancy comes from the method used to detect emissions, say the report’s authors. While the government and industry-led emissions studies typically gas imaging cameras to detect methane, the paper echoes a growing body of research challenging the method.

“Recent studies have shown that [optical gas imaging] cameras may not be as effective as originally thought,” wrote the study’s authors.

In the first public study of its kind, researchers used aerial methane measurements — captured by flying over fracking sites and production facilities — to get a clearer picture of their climate impacts. They found significantly higher emissions from sites like production tanks, compressors and unlit gas flares than those being reported.

“This is rigorous research that the government and industry can’t deny because they’ve been involved in it,” said Tom Green, climate solutions policy analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation. “So now we have a much better handle on what those emissions are, and how that’s a problem.”

The research was supported by the BC Oil and Gas Methane Emissions Research Collaborative, a joint collaboration between industry, government non-profits and the Oil and Gas Commission, to support B.C.’s emission targets.

The findings have consequences for the climate — particularly given B.C.’s plan to more than triple its fracking activity by 2040 if the LNG Canada project comes online.

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

Speaking for the Old Growth

Speaking for the Old Growth

Famed tree botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger has a tough message for BC Premier John Horgan.

The world recognized tree botanist, biochemist and bestselling author Diana Beresford-Kroeger is angry.

“I’m furious actually,” she says over the phone from her home in Merrickville, Ontario.

“In this day and age I am furious that they are logging the last old-growth forests during a pandemic. It is sneaky.”

She squarely directs the bulk of her considerable wrath against the British Columbia government of Premier John Horgan.

“The whole idea of a democracy is to look after the whole,” she says.

And she thinks that fine idea has been undermined by Horgan’s commitment to the industrial logging of the province’s last remaining giant trees.

And all to take advantage of rising prices during a pandemic.

“It is so underhanded. It’s like watching a plumber perform brain surgery,” she adds with a ladle of Irish wrath.

“The liquidation of B.C.’s ancient forests and their rare genetic richness, represents a direct assault on Indigenous people and their ability to survive,” she argues. “It is a form of mass murder.”

Beresford-Kroeger knows a thing or two about colonialism. Orphaned at an early age, she just barely escaped the clutches of Ireland’s dreaded Magdalene Laundries, brutal residential schools for orphans, unwed mothers and prostitutes.

Raised by traditional Celts in the old ways and Brehon Laws, she learned how England’s colonialism systematically robbed the Irish of their language, customs and, yes, their once great forests.

Ireland once had magnificent forests but the patriarchs of the British Empire played a powerful role in their destruction, all for money.

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

Canada Spent $23 Billion to Support Pipelines in Just Three Years

Canada Spent $23 Billion to Support Pipelines in Just Three Years

Taxpayers should understand the financial and climate risks of the big commitment, says an independent report.

Canadian pipelines have received over $23 billion in support from federal and provincial governments over the past three years, according to a new report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

The independent think tank crunched the numbers in a report that looked at the scope of government support for oil and gas pipelines.

The report looks at a broader definition of government support than just subsidies. Government support includes “any way that the federal or provincial governments promote fossil fuel production in a way that has to do with public money,” Corkal says.

Subsidies, on the other hand, are legally defined by the World Trade Organization as a beneficial financial contribution from a government.

Author Vanessa Corkal, policy advisor for Canada Energy Transitions at the institute, says it’s impossible to calculate the exact amount of pipeline subsidies because of a lack of government transparency.

“We thought it was important to highlight the high level of support the Canadian and Albertan government put towards this area,” Corkal says.

It’s important Canadians understand the financial risk governments have made by investing in pipelines, which may never get finished or never pay off, Corkal says.

But the report was also released one week after British Columbia experienced a devastating heat wave, which is likely linked to climate change and therefore the fossil fuel industry, she says.

Canadians need to consider “whether or not these investments are putting us on the path to deal with climate change at the scale and the pace that we need. And the pace we need has really been made clear this past week,” she says.

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

The Future of Fire in Canada

The Future of Fire in Canada

We’re on the brink of a ‘runaway fire age.’ Here’s why. And how to respond.

Five days after wildfire destroyed the town of Lytton in British Columbia killing two people and injuring several others, officials were still trying to account for some residents who were missing. No one apparently saw the fire coming. When they saw smoke, according to Mayor Jan Polderman, it took all of 15 minutes before the whole town was ablaze.

This was the third time in five years during Premier John Horgan’s time on the job in which catastrophic fires have taken their toll. “I cannot stress enough how extreme the fire risk is at this time in every part of British Columbia,” he said the day after the evacuation. “This is not how we usually roll in a temperate rainforest.”

Lytton is actually located in the drier, fire-prone montane forest which dominates most of the interior of B.C. Contrary to what Horgan said, this is exactly how things have been rolling since at least 2003 when more than 45,000 people were evacuated from Kelowna and Kamloops as fires tore through thick stands of forests filled with ponderosa and lodgepole pine, Douglas fir and Sitka spruce, trees that need to burn because heat from a fire is the most effective way of opening up enough cones to release the seeds they hold.

Hotter hells

The year 2003 was notable not for the amount of forest that was consumed, but for the number of people in the West who were in harm’s way…

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Topple Statues of Queen Elizabeth II in Canada

In Canada, they are toppling statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. A group of protesters gathered at the Manitoba legislature and pulled down the statue of Queen Victoria on Canada Day. A smaller statue of Queen Elizabeth II was also torn down on the premises. The demonstration comes as close to 1,000 unmarked graves of children have been found at the sites of former residential schools. Demonstrators toppled statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II in Winnipeg Thursday as outrage grows in Canada over the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves of Indigenous children.

Politicians fostered this anti-establishment phase to get rid of Trump. The problem now is that there is no putting this genie back in the bottle. Now they are huddling behind closed doors and will eventually use this as an excuse to suppress the people. It is just getting out of control everywhere. The lockdowns have simply made it all much worse.

CIBC: Gold is still going towards $2,000 and silver to $31

CIBC: Gold is still going towards $2,000 and silver to $31

Despite the selloff that caused gold to drop by more than 5% within a week, Canadian bank CIBC is still optimistic on both gold and silver’s prospects over the next few years. While the bank downgraded their average 2021 forecast for gold to $1,925, they expect the metal to average $2,100 in 2022.

Likewise, CIBC’s analysts downgraded their average silver forecast for 2021 to $28 from $29, but said that the metal will nonetheless head onwards to $31 next year. Interestingly, the analysts emphasized that physical precious metals will dominate demand:

We expect demand for physical gold and silver will remain elevated, not only from traditional investors but also from a wider array of investors seeking a safe-haven option to hedge against market volatility.

Regarding the recent fall in prices, CIBC’s analysts explored the specific causes and concluded prices aren’t likely to stay suppressed for much longer. The Federal Reserve clearly wants to ruffle its feathers and assume a hawkish stance to subdue inflationary threats. Frankly, the Fed’s options are limited. Money printing has slowed in recent months. However, President Biden’s $6 trillion spending plan would place the annual deficit at more than $1.3 trillion over the next decade.

In general, CIBC fully expects the overall environment of monetary stimulus and loose-money policies will last for a good, long while.

Furthermore, CIBC sees “real interest rates” (Treasury rates minus inflation) as an even bigger driver for gold. When real rates are negative, bond buyers lose money even after their bond matures. The analysts noted that gold has historically posted great performances regardless of headline interest rates, so long as real (inflation-adjusted) rates remain low. At the moment, the five-year real interest rate sits at -1.54% compared to an all-time low of -1.86% in May 2021. That is low.

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

Protestors Block the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick Border

Civil unrest is rising in Canada due to Trudeau’s tyranny. Transit between the border of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick was closed for nearly a day after the Nova Scotia government announced that those traveling from New Brunswick would be forced to self-quarantine upon arrival. The decision was announced only a day after Novia Scotia’s government agreed to open borders with P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador with no quarantine or testing requirements. “Families have been split apart for months and months and months and looking for that to finally come to an end today. And then at the last minute, the 11th hour, having that dashed? Extremely, extremely disappointing,” one protestor said, pointing out the harm that the border closure to New Brunswick has caused.

Protestors even blocked a truck from entering with what was believed to be COVID-19 vaccines. In a video circling the internet, you can see protestors standing in front of the truck and demanding to know if it is carrying experimental COVID vaccines. The people are livid. Eyes are beginning to open as people realize how much control the government has over their lives, wielding the power to change the rules at any time. You can only push the people so far before they begin to fight back. “If the government can state we can’t do these things against our Charter of Rights, we are going in protest to say, ‘No, it’s not acceptable.’ You can’t keep hanging a carrot in front of all of your people and then yanking the carrot away. You can’t keep giving false promises. Lie after lie,” another protestor demanded. This is all in line with our computer’s forecast – the people no longer trust their governments.

BC Looks like an LNG Loser: Report

BC Looks like an LNG Loser: Report

Prospects have been battered by global competition, volatility, delays and cost overruns.

Once touted as an economic powerhouse, the liquified natural gas industry is on the rocks, according to a worldwide survey of LNG terminals from the Global Energy Monitor, a non-profit research group responding to climate change.

LNG terminals are among the largest capital projects attempted in modern industry, costing up to $30 billion per project. Gas is extracted from underground deposits, piped to LNG plants where it is compressed by cooling to liquid form, loaded onto ships and transported to other markets.

“The sheer size of the projects has exposed investors to catastrophic losses,” said Lydia Plante, lead author of the just-released report.

The survey found that planned projects representing 38 per cent of global export capacity are facing delayed final investment decisions and other serious hold-ups. Cost overruns are common.

Canadian LNG is particularly bad off, Ted Nace, executive director of the Global Energy Monitor, told The Tyee. “The problem with the Canadian LNG expansion is that it’s especially vulnerable because Canada is a high-cost producer on a world basis.”

That’s because Canada plans to produce its LNG from fracking — an energy and capital-intensive process to access gas hidden deep inside shale rock.

Canadian LNG comes up short on the global market, said Nace, particularly when it competes against countries where conventional gas sources make LNG cheaper to produce.

And global competition is only getting fiercer. Qatar and Russia, for example, have vast supplies of cheap natural gas. “These super low cost producers,” said Nace, “are not giving up market share without a fight.”

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

The Unmistakable Impact Of The IEA’s ‘Fantasy’ Report

The Unmistakable Impact Of The IEA’s ‘Fantasy’ Report

In an effort to adapt to Trudeau’s recent green policies and owing to pressure from the International Energy Agency (IEA), Canadian oil sand producers have formed an alliance to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This would see a huge shift from current practices as, at present, oil sands producers extract some of the most carbon-intense crude oil. However, as the cost of carbon increases to meet environmental objectives in Canada, oil companies face increasing pressure to shift practices towards achieving net-zero.

The alliance will include Canadian Natural Resources (-1.77%)Cenovus Energy (-0.10%)Imperial Oil (-1.91%), MEG Energy, and Suncor Energy (-2.58%), which together operate around 90 percent of the country’s oil sands production. They will be working alongside both the federal and Alberta governments to make operations less carbon-intensive.

The companies are expected to invest in several areas in order to reduce their carbon emissions including, carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, repurposing waste into hydrogen energy, fuel switching, as well as innovative technologies such as direct air capture and small modular nuclear reactors.

The alliance aims to maintain its oil production, which will contribute an estimated $3 trillion to Canada’s GDP over the next 30 years while creating jobs and advancing clean energy practices.

Significant actions towards achieving net-zero have been taken across the oil and gas sector over the last month, as companies have felt the mounting pressure from governments, regulators, and stakeholder activists.

Last month, an activist investor managed to oust two Exxon (-2.56%) directors from its board in a push for a greater response to climate change. The small hedge fund, Engine No. 1, demonstrated its dissatisfaction with the poor financial performance of Exxon during the pandemic, as well as its limited effort to introduce climate change initiatives.

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

A circular food system can withstand crises like COVID-19 — and provide delicious meals

There are many hard lessons learned from the pandemic. One is that our food system needs a serious reboot. Luckily, we need only look to nature’s cycles for clues on how to fix it.

In a circular food economy, food waste becomes valuable, affordable healthy food becomes accessible to everyone and innovation uses a regenerative approach to how food is produced, distributed and consumed.

A pilot initiative in the Ontario city of Guelph and surrounding Wellington County, called Our Food Future, is Canada’s first circular food economy. It is demonstrating what a regional circular food model can look and taste like.

Falling out of sync with nature

The pandemic has magnified deep inefficiencies and inequity in the food system. On one hand, we see tremendous food waste and on the other, worsening food insecurity.

One estimate is that 40 per cent of food is wasted in our current system. Meanwhile, one in eight Canadians worry about their next meal, and one in six children who go hungry each day. In Toronto, Canada’s largest city, the situation is even worse, with one in five residents experiencing food insecurity.

The food system has evolved into a linear model of take-make-waste. We take from the ground the nutrients needed to grow food, make it into many products that line supermarket shelves, and then consume it, thinking little of the waste produced. This linear model is out of sync with the cycles seen in nature that were inherent in food production practices for thousands of years.

Food, design and systems thinking

Wading through the complexities of the food system can be overwhelming, but there are many opportunities to design a better model. First, it’s important to see the connections between food and design.

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

‘Monumental Steps’ on Protecting Old Growth Says Horgan. Critics Aren’t Convinced

‘Monumental Steps’ on Protecting Old Growth Says Horgan. Critics Aren’t Convinced

BC defers logging of southern Vancouver Island old growth after months of protests and blockades.

The British Columbia cabinet has agreed to defer the logging of 2,000 hectares of old-growth forest in the Fairy Creek watershed and the Central Walbran Valley, Premier John Horgan announced Wednesday.

The two-year deferrals fulfil a request made by the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations, but are unlikely to satisfy people who have been blocking logging activity in the area between Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan on southern Vancouver Island.

“These are monumental steps,” Horgan said. “I know it appears at the moment to be just another announcement by another premier, but these announcements are transformative for an industry that has been foundational to British Columbia’s success and will be foundational to our future success, but it has to be done in a different way.”

The deferral areas shown on maps the government released include 884 hectares of old-growth forest in the Fairy Creek watershed and 1,150 hectares in the Walbran. Logging is also deferred in a few hundred hectares of second-growth forests in the two areas.

The deferrals include a stop to new road building in some areas.

“We welcome the decision by the Government of British Columbia to approve the request made by our three Nations to defer old-growth harvesting in the Central Walbran and Fairy Creek watersheds for a period of two years,” said a statement from the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations.

“We will work with the Government of British Columbia and the licensees to monitor all forestry activity outside of the deferral areas to ensure that continuing forest activity does not impact the old-growth timber within the Central Walbran and Fairy Creek protected areas.”

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

Vancouver Council Pushed to Weaken Climate Emergency Plan

Vancouver Council Pushed to Weaken Climate Emergency Plan

An industry group wants the city to delay a deadline for shifting from natural gas in new homes. At least one councillor says no.

A natural gas lobby group could delay action on a pillar of the City of Vancouver’s Climate Emergency Action Plan this week.

The plan currently requires all new homes to be built with zero-emissions heating and hot water systems starting Jan. 1, which could effectively ban natural gas hookups in new homes.

But after the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating sent a letter to the City of Vancouver saying the industry couldn’t meet the January deadline and needed an additional one to two years, an amendment was added to the action plan that would delay the zero-emissions requirements by one year.

City council will vote on the amendment Tuesday.

The Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating is a non-profit association with 270 companies across the country who manufacture and distribute plumbing and heating products. In its letter the association said Vancouver should maintain its gas piping infrastructure for the eventual rollout of alternative fuel sources like hydrogen or renewable natural gas.

The Climate Emergency Action Plan was first introduced in 2019.

OneCity Vancouver Coun. Christine Boyle said that a one-year delay would punish climate leaders in the building industry and signal to the fossil fuel industry that the city is willing to cave on its climate goals “with a tiny bit of pressure.”

Over half of Vancouver’s greenhouse gas emissions come from burning natural gas for heat and hot water, according to the plan, so it’s hugely important for old homes to be retrofitted with electric appliances and urgent that new buildings are built to be as close to zero-emissions as possible, Boyle says.

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

Canada – Suspend Elections During Pandemics = Trudeau for Life?

 

In Canada, there is a bill claiming it is unreasonable to ask people to put their lives in danger to vote during a pandemic. Thus, all elections should be suspended during a pandemic that never ends.

” in the opinion of the House, holding an election during a pandemic would be irresponsible, and that it is the responsibility of the government to make every effort to ensure that voters are not called to the polls as long as this pandemic continues.”

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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