By Martin Patriquin and Philippe Gohier - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 0 Comments
Unlikely as it seems, support is pouring in from La Belle Province
Until a fateful fall night last year, François Remillard hadn’t found a way to scratch his political itch. A history teacher awoke the interest in high school but, as the 27-year-old Quebecer points out, that was 10 years ago; since then, his passion has been for work (he is studying to be a surveyor) and studiously avoiding talking politics with his family, most of whom support the Parti Québécois.
And then on the evening of Oct. 2, Justin Trudeau declared his intention to run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. His speech, replete with frothy declarations of his love for Canada and reminders of how much he has to learn, was classic Trudeau; he has the ability to at once come off as both outrageous and humble. After watching it on the Internet, Remillard was hooked. He followed the campaign intently from then on, and became a volunteer in January. “There are no other leaders who inspire me,” he says. “For me, it’s a question of image, of an idea of Canada. Trudeau has what it takes to get young people in Quebec and Canada interested and involved in federal politics.”
By Gabriela Perdomo - Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 10:32 AM - 0 Comments
There’s something odd about the fact an audience of privileged Harvard students played host…
There’s something odd about the fact an audience of privileged Harvard students played host to yesterday’s launch of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, an organization designed to combat bullying and promote tolerance in schools. Gaga, her mother Cynthia Germanotta—the co-founder and president of the BTWF —and Oprah Winfrey were joined by best-selling author and pop philosopher Deepak Chopra and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen G. Sebelius for the event.
Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the California Endowment are all involved in the foundation.
By all accounts, the event was a great success and, despite the elite setting of its launch, BTWF enjoys enormous popular support. Tweeters around the world followed the event through the #BTWFLive hashtag; The Guardian even live blogged the whole thing:
4.27pm: I believe that Lady Gaga just told Oprah, “This is not an anti-bullying foundation. This is a youth empowerment foundation.” The crowd applauds heartily.
Gaga was wearing a black dress, black cat-like sunglasses and a black hat with a net over her face. She spoke seriously and passionately about the core mission of the foundation.
Gaga and her “Born Brave” bus will now embark on a tour across the U.S. to promote the BTWF.
By Richard Warnica - Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM - 0 Comments
Workers at a call centre hired by the Conservative Party say they were given…
Workers at a call centre hired by the Conservative Party say they were given scripts that directed voters to the wrong polling stations in the lead up to the 2011 election.
From the Toronto Star:
A fourth remembered directing people to voting stations but did not remember passing on any message that a voting station had changed.
However, one employee was so concerned that something was amiss she says she reported it to her supervisor at the RMG site, to the RCMP office in Thunder Bay and to a toll-free Elections Canada number at the time.
With the House set to resume Monday, the voter-surpression scandal threatens to dominate debate in Ottawa. Over the weekend, Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the CBC he believes the any misdirection was isolated. The Liberals and the NDP, however, say as many as 34 ridings may have been targeted.
In the Globe, John Ibbitson writes that Harper likely “knew nothing about what was going on in Guelph or elsewhere.” But he is now scrambling to find out exactly what went on. In the Citizen, meanwhile, Michael Den Tandt notes that the Gomery Inquiry all but destroyed the Liberal Party then helpfully suggests Harper call a similar probe into the robocall allegations.
For the latest in on this story, follow Aaron Wherry’s Beyond The Commons blog.
By Richard Warnica - Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM - 0 Comments
A passenger train travelling between Niagara and Toronto derailed Sunday, pitching six loaded cars…
A passenger train travelling between Niagara and Toronto derailed Sunday, pitching six loaded cars off the tracks in Burlington. Three engineers were killed in the crash and at least 46 people injured.
From the Toronto Star:
“I just looked up and I could see people flying all over the place,” said Richard Parsley, 60, who saw the engine flip shortly before his own rail car flew onto its side, breaking two of his ribs and his shoulder blade. “It’s mind-boggling.”
“There was blood everywhere,” said Faisal Abid, 21, seated in the first car.
The cause of the derailment is under investigation by the Transportation Safety Board, but experts said it appeared the cars came off as the train was crossing tracks; one authority confirmed there was a crew working on the tracks, which prompted the train to switch over to another set.
It says something about the general safety of train travel that this kind of crash makes the news it does. Fatal car accidents are so common they rarely cause a stir outside the region where they occur. For example, a quick Google search turned up this wreck in Alberta, where three dead earned a few paragraphs cribbed from an RCMP press release. A fourth victim died days later, making it, in terms of life lost, a worse calamity than the Via derailment. But despite that, it was a pretty regional story. Compare that to Sunday’s derailment, which vied with the Oscars as the top news across Canada Monday morning. It was a tragic crash. But the surprise of it is in a way reassuring. Fixed links are so generally safe, it’s a shock when they aren’t.
(Note: The few paragraphs on the Alberta wreck were a quick first story. Local outlets followed with longer pieces, but it never became national news on any kind of scale.)
By Richard Warnica - Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:06 AM - 0 Comments
Some words on Sunday’s Oscars, presented with little context: “a Crystal-meth nightmare“; “cadaverous, a…
Some words on Sunday’s Oscars, presented with little context: “a Crystal-meth nightmare“; “cadaverous, a depressing slog“; “shopworn“; “flat … dated and stale“; “awkward“; “increasingly desperate“; “awfully boring“; J Lo’s left nipple.”
The reviews, in other words, were not kind. Everything about the ceremony felt dated, most agreed, from Billy Crystal’s tired schtick to the love shown period peans The Artist and Hugo. But hating the Oscars for being old, tired and stale is like slamming Jersey Shore for lacking class. You know what you’re getting from the Academy; if you don’t like it, watch something else.
And there were some fine moments Sunday. Emma Stone was game, loveable and wacky. Chris Rock, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis: all pretty great. Canada’s Christopher Plummer won for his role in The Beginners, which will hopefully lead more people to see the lovely, under-looked film. And the whole Cirque de Soleil thing awed my admittedly easily wowed brain.
As for the winners, well, if you look to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for advice on what to see, good luck to you. These are, after all, the people who anointed Crash and A Beautiful Mind. So take the following with a grain of salt. Six thousand very old, very white Californians consider them the very best from the year now past:
- Best Picture: The Artist
- Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
- Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
- Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
- Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help
- Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
- Best Animated Short: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
- Best Short Documentary: Saving Face
- Best Live Action Short: The Shore
- Best Original Screenplay: Midnight In Paris
- Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
- Best Original Song: “Man Or Muppet,” The Muppets
- Best Original Score: The Artist
- Best Visual Effects: Hugo
- Best Animated Feature: Rango
- Best Documentary Feature: Undefeated
- Best Sound Mixing: Hugo
- Best Sound Editing: Hugo
- Best Film Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- Best Makeup: The Iron Lady
- Best Costume Design: The Artist
- Best Art Direction: Hugo
- Best Cinematography: Hugo
By Richard Warnica - Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM - 0 Comments
For the second time in less than a month, Dave Pickton, whose brother Robert…
For the second time in less than a month, Dave Pickton, whose brother Robert admitted to killing 49 women in B.C., is in the news. According to a story in Monday’s Vancouver Province, Pickton claims to have started a charity for the poor in Ghana. The news comes weeks after a poster campaign warning sex workers of Pickton’s presence in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside came to light.
From the Province:
Pickton told The Province on Sunday night that a trip to Ghana inspired him to start the Pickton Foundation.
“If you travel there, you will know why,” said Pickton. “Kids don’t have anything to eat.”
Pickton said during his travels in Ghana, he became ill after swallowing a tiny amount of tainted water.
“I had a capful of water, and I got sick,” said Pickton. “Clean water and food to keep them going is the key, and then getting some farmland.”
By Kate Lunau - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 4:03 PM - 0 Comments
The AAAS 2012 meeting in Vancouver will feature the latest on everything scientific, from talks on birth control to discussions of fake meat grown in a lab
Kate Lunau is covering the 2012 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver, a gathering of some of the world’s finest brains and celebrities of science. On Feb. 16-20, Lunau will bring you a sneak peak of the latest research and findings, posting to Macleans.ca on anything from healthcare and climate change, to food security, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @Katelunau, #AAAS, #AAASmtg
Today is my last day in Toronto before I head to Vancouver for the AAAS Meeting, the annual conference of the biggest scientific society in the world (they publish the journal Science). All sorts of new research will be presented at this monster conference, which hasn’t been held outside the U.S. since 1981, when it was in Toronto. The program is a grab bag of amazing stuff: talks on the future of the ocean, the birth control pill, quantum computing, climate change, stem cells, the Arctic, the Large Hadron Collider, etc etc. It’s pretty overwhelming, and I know I’ll spend the next few days running around like crazy trying to fit in as much as I can.
A few of the session descriptions have left me really curious, like the one on “archaeoacoustics” (how ancient societies designed their ritual spaces to evoke emotion through sound), and another on fake meat, grown in a lab. There will be plenty of science stars in attendance, too, like RIM’s Mike Lazaridis, Carl Wieman from the White House, and Steve MacLean of the Canadian Space Agency.
Until Monday afternoon, when the meeting wraps up, I will be writing up sciency storm. You can find me @Katelunau and here, at Macleans.ca.
By Gustavo Vieira - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 12:27 PM - 0 Comments
The federal government’s controversial purchase of 65 F-35 fighter jets took yet another hit…
The federal government’s controversial purchase of 65 F-35 fighter jets took yet another hit this week when the Pentagon confirmed it had to postpone orders for 179 of the planes to save $15.1 billion and allow more time for testing. On Tuesday, Italy announced it was downsizing its order and the U.K. said it will wait until 2015 to decide on its purchase. The announcements will likely drive the price of the jets further up from the current $9-billion bill Ottawa faces. Under attack from the opposition, who says the government is considering delaying old-age security benefits while remaining stubbornly attached to the ever pricier fighter jets, the Conservative government announced it will be holding talks with the other jet buyers in the Canadian embassy in Washington, DC in March, something opposition MPs portrayed as a panicked move. While Defence Minister Peter Mackay admitted on Tuesday that the the F-35 program has been problematic in terms of timelines and costs, the National Post’s John Ivison says the government has found a potential solution to the problem: replacing the fighter jets with unmanned drones. According to unnamed sources, the Department of National Defence is preparing to tender a contract for drones similar to the ones the U.S. has been using in Afghanistan.
By Gustavo Vieira - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 10:18 AM - 0 Comments
Two teenagers were struck by freight trains in Ontario and Alberta on Monday in…
Two teenagers were struck by freight trains in Ontario and Alberta on Monday in horrific accidents just hours apart. According to police, a 16-year-old boy was hit by a train as he crossed a rail line in Oshawa, Ont. while texting and listening to music on headphones. He was airlifted to a Toronto hospital, but later died of his injuries. He has not been identified. Hours later, Daniel Michael McPherson, a 19-year-old high-school student, was struck and killed by a freight train in Leduc, Alta., south of Edmonton, while walking between the rails. He was also reportedly wearing headphones, the RCMP said. Serious injuries to pedestrians wearing headphones have more than tripled since 2004, according to a recent study by the University of Maryland. According to the research, three quarters of these accidents are fatal, and the victims almost always male teenagers.
By Richard Warnica - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 11:42 AM - 0 Comments
Russia, China use their vetos to scuttle a resolution at the UN
Western and Arab governments, stymied by Russian and Chinese vetoes at the UN, are struggling to find ways to support the fractious Syrian opposition as violence in that country persists.
The Guardian reported Tuesday that the U.S. may be considering an executive order that would authorize covert action against Bashar al-Assad’s increasingly chaotic regime. It is not clear, however, that President Obama would sign such an order. Nor is it certain that covert action would succeed.
“It would leak in an instant and it would be radioactive,” Robert Baer, a former CIA officer in the region told the paper. “They [the Obama administration] have no idea of what to do now.”
Hope for a negotiated end to the conflict, which has claimed thousands of civilian and rebel lives, faded after China joined Russia to veto a Security Council resolution last Saturday. On Tuesday, Russia’s foreign minister touched down in Syria, where he was to meet with al-Assad.
At the same time, reports from inside the country say the crackdown on the rebel stronghold of Homs is intensifying. At least 94 people were killed in shelling Monday alone, according to BBC sources. Russian-made tanks have surrounded the city, but an all-out ground assault has not yet commenced.
The U.S. and Britain recalled their ambassadors to Syria this week, part of a diplomatic push that has so far proved ineffectual. Canada is maintaining diplomatic relations with al-Assad’s regime for now. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to raise the issue of China’s UN veto during this week’s bilateral summit in Beijing.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, January 23, 2012 at 3:18 PM - 0 Comments
The prepared text of John Baird’s speech to an audience in London, England today.
Good evening, I am pleased to be with you tonight and it’s a real pleasure to be back in London – one of the world’s truly great cities and one of my personal favourites. I would like to begin by thanking Canada’s High Commissioner here in London – Gordon Campbell – and his team, for making this visit possible.
One of the reasons I – like so many Canadians who come here to vacation, study or work – so enjoy being here is because, in a very real sense, it feels like coming to a familiar and welcoming place. That sense of the familiar is all the more welcome, given that so much of the world is undergoing a fundamental transformation.
Power is rebalancing and, with it, opportunities are changing, for Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as for our allies and friends. This presents for Canada and Canadians both challenge and opportunity: to shape the relationships and institutions for a new century; to promote free societies and open markets; and to engage with new and sometimes, unfamiliar power brokers.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 11:20 AM - 0 Comments
Tehran provided Damascus with economic lifeline
New evidence has emerged of Iranian efforts to aid the beleaguered regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. U.S. officials say Iran is covertly importing Syrian crude oil, selling it on the international market, then returning the proceeds to Syria, in violation of international sanctions. Russia, meanwhile, remains committed to arming al-Assad as he continues a crackdown on local opposition that has left thousands dead. A Russian ship carrying four containers of munitions was stopped in Cyprus last month before continuing on to the Syrian port of Tartus. Russia and Iran have traditionally been two of Syria’s strongest allies.
By Philippe Gohier - Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 6:32 PM - 0 Comments
Just two months after pledging his unequivocal support for Pauline Marois, Gilles Duceppe is reportedly angling for her job
Should it come as a suprise that what looked like a peace accord between Gilles Duceppe and Pauline Marois just two months ago turns out to have been a temporary ceasefire? According to credible reports, Duceppe is gunning for Marois’s job—and getting someone who was once very close to Marois, former PQ MNA Louise Beaudoin, who quit the party last year to sit as an independent, to help his chances.
Even considering the PQ’s rich history of backstabbing, Duceppe’s opinion of Marois has seemingly come a long way in a short time. His widely publicized November 8 letter had been unequivocal in its support of Marois. “With this letter, I want to reiterate a message to all sovereigntists,” the former Bloc leader wrote. “Let Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois do their job.” But that was before Marois went ahead and… er, Marois and the rest of the PQ haven’t done much of anything since then. The National Assembly has been on break since December 9 and doesn’t get going again until mid-February. Continue…
By macleans.ca - Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM - 0 Comments
Pipelines should be a Canadian decision, says PM
A decision on the Northern Gateway pipeline should rest in the hands of Canadians only, not foreign interest groups, Stephen Harper said in an interview with the CBC on Monday night. The $5.5 billion dollar project, proposed by Canadian oil and gas company Enbridge, envisions building two pipelines that will stretch almost 1,200 km from the Alberta oil sands to the West Coast, transporting up to 525,000 barrels of oil daily. Harper and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver raised the issue earlier this month that local environmental groups who are opposed to the project are receiving funds from outside Canada, particularly the United States. “Just because certain people in the United States would like to see Canada be one giant national park for the northern half of North America, I don’t think that’s part of what our review process is all about,” Harper said in an interview with Peter Mansbridge. Environmental groups, on the other hand, argue that much of the funding for the proposed pipelines would come from outside Canada as well.
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Monday, January 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM - 0 Comments
Congressional Republicans plan to keep TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline high on their agenda when the US House of Representatives resumes its session tomorrow, two congressmen said this morning.
“We go back into session tomorrow. This issue will be first and foremost,” South Carolina congressman, Jeff Duncan, told me in an interview. “We’re going to ramp it up,” said Duncan, who sits on the Natural Resources committee and, a member of the Republican “energy action team” in the House.
“We’re going to keep attaching it to other bills. I’m not one who likes to attach non-related legislation to other pieces legislation, or bob-tailing, but this is an issue we’ve already passed its something we believe in and we’ll keep attaching it,” said Duncan. Last month, Republican lawmakers attached legislation that would give President Obama a 60-day deadline to decide on the Keystone XL permit to legislation extending a payroll tax cut by two months.
At an energy-themed breakfast in Myrtle Beach, SC, another Republican congressman, Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, showcased a map that he said would be making the rounds of Capitol Hill in coming weeks.
“We have an opportunity here to win the messaging war and we are going to push this as hard as we can over the next several months,” he told a packed ballroom of hundreds of assembled Republican officials and activists.
“What you are going to see over the next few weeks in Washington are these two maps,” said Mulvaney. Showing the audience an image of a map of the proposed pipeline route from Albert to the Gulf Coast of Texas, Mulvaney said: “This is what the president wants you to see.” Switching the slide to a map of thousands of pipelines that cover the US. “…And this is reality. Often those two things are divorced in Washington.”
“What you see here is that pipelines already exist. What the president would have you believe is the pipeline is somehow unusual or extreme. The truth of the matter is that there are pipelines all over this country that function each and every day without any environmental impact at all.”
(Environmentalists who oppose the pipeline have argued that few pipelines in the US carry diluted bitumen and that they have particular concerns about a pipeline in the Sand Hills area of Nebraska that crosses a large aquifer.)
The Obama administration has delayed a decision on a permit in order to review an alternative route that would take the pipeline around the environmentally sensitive region of Nebraska. Republicans accuse President Obama of delaying the process to appease environmentalists ahead of the November presidential elections.
The breakfast was hosted by a former US ambassador to Canada and a former Speaker of the South Carolina legislature, David Wilkins. He told the audience: “What most Americans view as common-sense or no-brainer energy policy, like drilling off our own shores, or in ANWR, or approving a pipeline to ship oil from Canada – a trusted ally, a stalwart partners in the pursuit of liberty, and a strong environmental steward – somehow has all fallen victim to the worst kind of partisan politics in Washington.”
(Note: this post has been updated with the same map used in Rep. Mulvaney’s presentation.)
By Kristy Hutter - Monday, January 16, 2012 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to cancel fuel subsidies virtually doubled the price of gas
Africa’s most populated country has not had a good start to 2012. Thousands of Nigerians took to the streets of its two largest cities, Lagos and Abuja, to protest against President Goodluck Jonathan’s Jan. 1 decision to cancel fuel subsidies, which virtually doubled the price of gas across the country. The jump—45 cents to almost $1 per litre—has outraged Nigerians, most living on less than $2 a day. Ironically, Nigeria is Africa’s most oil-rich nation, but foreign companies such as BP and Shell own and operate the high-functioning refineries that produce two billion barrels each day—a process that resulted in two major oil spills in the past month.
The demonstrations come just as the president confirmed that the local Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has infiltrated parliamentary and legislative arms of the government. The group has already been held responsible for four Christmas Day bombings, and is fighting to impose a strict interpretation of sharia law throughout the country.
By macleans.ca - Friday, January 13, 2012 at 1:39 PM - 0 Comments
Chinese seller of refined oil faces sanctions, Japan promises to draw down oil imports
The U.S. is ramping up its efforts to put pressure on Iran’s Islamic regime, thought to be pursuing a nuclear weapons program, by squeezing the country’s oil sector. Late Thursday night, the U.S. State Department announced sanctions against three large oil companies—including, including, in a bold move, China’s Zhuhai Zhenrong—for selling refined oil products to Iran. “This is an extremely unfriendly signal,” said analyst Li Guofu of the China Institute for International Studies, speaking with the Financial Times. Refined oil products are considered crucial to Iran’s economy since the country doesn’t have the domestic infrastructure to refine crude oil on its own. The targeted sanctions come as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner visited Asia’s two largest economies this week, pressuring China and Japan to reduce the amount of oil they import from Iran. Japan, which imports 10 per cent of its oil from Iran, pledged to reduce its crude trade with Iran after Geithner’s visit.
By Alex Ballingall - Friday, January 13, 2012 at 7:15 AM - 0 Comments
With Keystone XL on hold, the Northern Gateway project becomes a priority
After the U.S. delayed its decision on whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oil sands bitumen from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was quick to stress his government’s renewed enthusiasm for exporting more oil to Asia. He called it “an important priority” for Ottawa.
With those words, the heated pipeline fight shifted from Keystone to the Northern Gateway project in British Columbia, where Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., hopes to lay a 1,172-km oil sands pipeline to the port town of Kitimat. For environmentalists, the economic benefits—estimated by Enbridge to add $270 billion to Canada’s GDP over 30 years—don’t outweigh the risk of an oil spill, something Enbridge experienced with much publicity in July 2010, when one of its pipes burst into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. Nathan Lemphers, a Pembina Institute analyst, says Northern Gateway’s route leaves it vulnerable to landslides and avalanches, increasing odds of a rupture. He also points to the B.C. coastline, where an oil tanker spill could devastate salmon stocks and wipe out the region’s orcas, according to a 2010 report by the Raincoast Conservation Society. Alongside such disquiet are concerns over Aboriginal land rights. Continue…
By macleans.ca - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 2:09 PM - 0 Comments
MP Lise St-Denis was elected as an NDP member May 2, but will now join the Liberal caucus in Ottawa
Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae welcomed MP Lise St-Denis, elected as an NDP candidate on May 2, to the Liberal caucus in a press conference on Tuesday, the Globe and Mail reports. In a statement Rae said “The rebuilding of the Liberal Party of Canada depends on people like Ms. St-Denis who have the courage of their convictions, and who join our fight against a Conservative government rooted in rigid and dangerous ideology.” Meanwhile, the NDP is calling for St-Denis to resign her seat: “If the Liberals think that this is what the voters of her riding want, we challenge them to run Ms. St-Denis in a by-election,” said the chair of the NDP’s Quebec caucus, MP Guy Caron. Ms. St-Denis said she hoped her constituents, who voted her in as part of the NDP’s “orange wave” in the last election, would understand her decision. “They voted for Jack Layton. Jack Layton is dead,” Ms. St-Denis said.
<a href=”http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/mp-defects-to-liberals-ndp-decries-lack-of-respect-for-democracy/article2297353/”>Globe and Mail</a>
By Paul Wells - Monday, January 9, 2012 at 6:47 PM - 0 Comments
The Natural Resources Department was always where you worked if you thought environmentalists were a bunch of kooks. In the late 1990s, when the world was young and Kyoto was fresh and new, Natural Resources used to leak like a firehose right into the notebook of a colleague of mine at the National Post. Herb Dhaliwal, then the minister in charge, made a great show of driving an SUV the size of a hockey rink.
But the leaks were always anonymous and Herb’s SUV was a bit of an inside joke. Times change, and now we have Joe Oliver, who’s written (well, whose signature appears under) an open letter as significant in the annals of Conservative government as the ones Stéphane Dion used to write for Jean Chrétien.
There’s nothing subtle about it. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, January 9, 2012 at 12:51 PM - 0 Comments
The Natural Resources Minister takes on the environmental regulatory system, environmentalists, celebrity, air travel, foreigners, America and civil law.
Unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade. Their goal is to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth. No forestry. No mining. No oil. No gas. No more hydro-electric dams.
These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda. They seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects. They use funding from foreign special interest groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest. They attract jet-setting celebrities with some of the largest personal carbon footprints in the world to lecture Canadians not to develop our natural resources. Finally, if all other avenues have failed, they will take a quintessential American approach: sue everyone and anyone to delay the project even further.
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 11:39 AM - 0 Comments
Tehran warns it will close Strait of Hormuz if West imposes oil sanctions
The chief of Iran’s navy has warned that Iran could easily close the strategic Strait of Hormuz in response to western sanctions, according to the Globe and Mail. Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced on Iranian state-run Press TV on Wednesday, “closing the Strait of Hormuz is very easy for Iranian naval forces,” echoing similar remarks made on Tuesday by Vice President Mohamed Reza Rahimi. The comments come as the Iranian navy conducts a ten-day military exercise in the region. The West has shown increasing concern over Iran’s nuclear program, accusing the regime of attempting to develop weapons under the guise of civilian nuclear energy and medical research. Meanwhile, Saudi officials have said Gulf countries can step up oil production to make up for any potential shortfalls in Iranian oil. The nation currently produces about four billion barrels daily, and depends on oil exports for 80 per cent of its revenues.
By macleans.ca - Friday, December 23, 2011 at 2:33 PM - 0 Comments
Attorney General pushes forward with application to televise trials of accused rioters
Attorney-General of British Columbia Shirley Bond is defending the provincial government’s bid to televise the trials of those accused in Vancouver’s Stanley Cup riots, The Globe and Mail reports. Her office issued a statement standing by its proposal in response to suggestions that televising the trials will jam the court system. Bond says televising the trials is important because it will provide the public with transparency. Some defense lawyers are critical of the idea, presuming clients will not want to appear on television as accused rioters. So far, charges have been recommended for 80 people, 8 of whom appeared in court last week. In each appearance the crown tabled a request to televise their trial. Judges will rule on the applications and consent of all parties be required in order for any trial to be televised.
By macleans.ca - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 1:35 PM - 0 Comments
PM: Canada now ‘on a different track’ even if Keystone approved
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he’s serious about selling Canadian oil to Asia, and cast doubts on a U.S. approval of the Keystone XL pipeline in an interview with CTV National News to be aired on Boxing Day. The comments were made a day after the Obama administration signalled it could reject the $7-billion project linking the Alberta tar sands to Texas, following approval by the U.S. Senate of a bill that could force his government to make a decision on the project within 60 days. Although approval of the project is still possible, pending a U.S. State Department review of alternate pipeline routes, Harper seemed skeptical it would actually go forward. When asked about the likelihood of selling oil to China at the expense of angering Washington, the prime minister said he was recently told in the U.S. that Keystone would get done, but added that Canada is now on a different track.
By macleans.ca - Monday, December 12, 2011 at 10:22 AM - 0 Comments
New York Times op-ed advocates ‘package deal’
The Obama administration’s move earlier this year to delay approval—or rejection—of the proposed Keytone XL pipeline, which would link Alberta’s oil sands to refineries on the American Gulf Coast, rocked the Canadian energy industry. The decision on Keystone won’t now be made until after next year’s U.S. presidential election. Into the policy void steps Gregg Easterbrook, author of Sonic Boom: A Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the New Global Economy, with a proposal for an entirely new pipeline strategy. In this New York Times commentary, Easterbrook argues Washington’s strategic priority should be shifting its energy economy from heavy reliance on imported oil to more consumption of American natural gas. That includes huge Alaskan natural gas reserves. His proposition: “American consent for moving Canadian oil-sand products across the Midwest should be tied to Canadian consent for an Alaskan natural gas pipeline across British Columbia.” This “package deal” would satisfy the Alberta oil patch and the growing U.S. lobby for a made-in-America energy strategy. As well, Easterbrook points out that natural gas contributes considerably less to global warming than oil or coal.