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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…

While Fighting the Virus, We Must Fight for Our Rights

While Fighting the Virus, We Must Fight for Our Rights

These governments around the world are trying to use the pandemic to smother freedoms.

Twenty-two million human beings have had COVID-19 as I type this, and 788,000 have already perished. Those numbers will be higher by the time you read these words. So wear a mask, wash your hands, and mind your social distance from others. Listen to the scientists and give the COVID deniers what they deserve — your scorn.

One other thing. Keep a sharp eye on your freedoms. Democracy may soon be added to that gruesome list of the pandemic’s victims.

Several countries have already had key institutions undermined by the COVID-19 pandemic, or its political manipulation. As a result, civil and constitutional rights, like the freedoms of assembly and expression, have been diluted if not cancelled outright — all in the name of fighting the deadly virus. Those rights may or may not be restored.

Let’s run through a list of governments eroding democracy under cover of pandemic — and don’t be surprised to find Canada in there, edging towards membership.

HUNGARY. There, it is beginning to look like a state of permanent emergency. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has completely neutered parliament, after his majority party used the pandemic to grant him the power to suspend existing laws, and all elections and referendums. Under the Anti-Coronavirus Act, journalists may now get up to five years in jail for disseminating false information during a pandemic — i.e., criticizing the government. The conclusion is inescapable. Orbán is no longer a PM, he is a dictator.

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

Lying Politicians Are Killing Our Democracies

Lying Politicians Are Killing Our Democracies

Weak watchdogs and lax social media bred a pandemic of dishonesty. We need new laws.

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Liar inspo. Photo by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 2.0.

If anything takes us out before climate change, it will be the triumph of lying in government.

Having spent a lifetime digging out facts to reveal the truth, I have to acknowledge it — the compulsive liars running countries are winning the communications war.

The only issue now is whether the liars can be stopped. If Canada wants to side with truth, it should start by regulating political advertisements. We know Facebook won’t do it. And that the nation to our south has become a laboratory for mad scientists of propaganda.

But if a Canadian finds a straight-up whopper in a political ad from a politician or party, there is nobody to file a complaint with. Politicians here can lie with immunity and impunity.

Which makes us part of a global pandemic. Official government lying from the top has gone viral. It kills democracy as surely as the Spanish flu, which in 1918 claimed 50 million lives and afflicted 10 times that number. False, weaponized and dysfunctional information will wreak even more havoc, literally affecting everyone on the planet.

This week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, freshly indictedon criminal counts of fraud, bribery and breach of trust, accused police and prosecutors of staging a “coup” against him. U.S. President Donald Trump used the same word to describe his confrontation with the constitution and the law. Like Trump, Netanyahu is accusing his accusers — without evidence — and whipping his followers into a frenzy against the justice system. The key prosecutors on the case now have bodyguards.

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

‘I Want Them to Have Justice’: Inside the Fight to Save the Shubenacadie River

‘I Want Them to Have Justice’: Inside the Fight to Save the Shubenacadie River

In Nova Scotia, water protectors have fiercely opposed a gas company’s plans for a decade, helped by a celebrity supporter.

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Can ‘water protectors’ like Dale Poulette (seen above) and his partner Rachael Greenland-Smith win a war against governments and a resource company over the future of a grand river and the people it helps to sustain? Still from There’s Something in the Water.

It is so quiet on the banks of the Shubenacadie you can almost hear the river breathe.

Standing by the Treaty Truckhouse with Rachael Greenland-Smith and Dale Poulette, the instinct is to fall silent. The landscape draws you in with elemental power — an Alex Colville painting come to life.

Blue sky above, tawny long grass below, all of it bisected by the reddish tidal waters of the Shubenacadie. The only sound is the flapping of the Indigenous Unity flag when the wind picks up from the river.

The RCMP didn’t want any flags flying on nearby Treaty Island, but Mi’kmaq water protectors felt they had no choice. They believed that the Alton Gas company’s storage project, which would dump huge amounts of brine into the Shubenacadie, would endanger the river.

The company wants to build massive underground caverns to store natural gas. It would use river water to flush out salt deposits at a site 12 kilometres away, creating the caverns. The salty water would then be pumped back into the river over a few years.

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The reddish tidal waters of the Shubenacadie. Photo by Michael Harris.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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