Op/Ed

COLUMN: 'World Class' Oil Spill Response a Failure

Wind and waves make it impossible to "contain" oil spill near Bella Bella.

In July, a pipeline leak near Maidstone, Saskatchewan, spilled about 250,000 litres of diluted oil sands bitumen into the North Saskatchewan River, killing wildlife and compromising drinking water for nearby communities, including Prince Albert. It was one of 11 spills in the province over the previous year.

COLUMN: From the Hill -- Forestry and Trade Wars

Dick Cannings, Member of Parliament for South Okanagan West Kootenay

The forest industry has been a critically important sector in the BC economy for over a century, but it has been hit hard.  A 30-year trade war with the United States cost our industry billions of dollars.  The softwood lumber agreement did bring back certainty to lumber export access and costs, but the Canadian industry paid a very high price for that certainty, and many mills didn’t survive.

Victoria's pricey secrets

Four million documents linked to the firings have mysteriously materialized.

Just how far is the B.C. government willing to go to guard its secrets? A great distance, if the 2012 health ministry firings are any indication.

Four million documents linked to the firings have mysteriously materialized out of thin air for the latest investigation into the scandal, this one by B.C. ombudsperson Jay Chalke.

There's a history behind some of those documents, where they were, how they were handled and by whom.

Successful First Nations in Canada support economic development and are fiscally responsible

Successful First Nations rely on self-determination and make the most out of their own assets rather than relying on Ottawa for their prosperity.

First Nations with the highest living standards capitalize on, rather than oppose the economic opportunities available to them, and are governed by long-serving, fiscally prudent leaders, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

Acting on Your Values

Acting on Your Values

“Our efforts to change ourselves and to change the environment are both necessary, but one can’t happen without the other.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
 
Behaviours, beliefs, and values are the tools for making good choices, especially when you’re trying to change the world.

Participants in the fifth Nelson Interfaith Climate Action Collaborative learned the power of choice firsthand.

Do away with messy public tenders, pre-approve instead

One thing is for sure: keep your membership in good standing and the lists keep on giving and giving.

News that's guaranteed to cheer the hearts of a small number of B.C. companies is word that they've been added to a list of pre-qualified suppliers to the B.C. government.

The lists are intended to offer all the appearances of open and transparent procurement. They can be anything but.

It's one way to get around the bad optics of sole-sourcing too many public contracts.

You can imagine the minister's briefing note: “We chose from a long list of well-qualified firms who were put through a rigorous vetting process by the ministry.”

COLUMN: 'Collective cowardice' on climate change

COLUMN:  'Collective cowardice' on climate change

Scientists worldwide accept that Earth is warming at an unusually rapid rate, that humans are primarily responsible, mainly by burning fossil fuels, and that the consequences for humanity will be disastrous if we don’t take immediate, widespread action. The U.S. Defense Department calls climate change a security risk “because it degrades living conditions, human security and the ability of governments to meet the basic needs of their populations.”

Want to influence our federal government? Here's one way to make an attempt.

A fox, watching the hen-house.

The Candian Environmental Protection Act is under review by a committee of the House of Commons.  Citizens are invited to comment -- in the form of written "briefs."  There are guidelines for these briefs, accessible via a link in the material pasted in below. 

COLUMN: From the Hill -- better funding for rural municipal infrastructure?

COLUMN: From the Hill -- better funding for rural municipal infrastructure?

In my last column, I discussed some of the issues we heard about at House Finance Committee hearings.  I’d like to mention a few more of the thought-provoking ideas discussed on the second day of hearings in Edmonton.

Food security = important for humans and other animals too

Fresh vegetables are too costly for many in Canada

As leaves change colour and drop from trees, and a chill in the air signals the approach of winter, many of us are thinking of the fall harvest and hearty soups and dishes that will soon warm our bellies.

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