MLA David Coon: Reply to the Throne Speech 2014

15 12 2014

Reply to the Speech from the Throne December 9, 2014 David Coon, MLA, Fredericton South Leader of the Green Party of NB Contact: Margot Malenfant, Legislative Assistant (506) 478-7781

Mr. Speaker, before I begin my response to the Speech from the Throne, I want to thank the people of Fredericton South for electing me to represent them in this Legislative Assembly. It is an honour and a tremendous responsibility to serve the community of Fredericton South in this House. I want to thank the many young women and men, some who voted for the first time in their lives, who put their faith in me. I also want to acknowledge all of the children and youth, too young to vote, who seemed galvanized by my candidacy and cheered me on during the campaign and celebrated my election. I will be forever thankful for their enthusiasm and I will be respectful of the trust they have put in me to give a voice to their hopes and dreams.

Change we must, for everything around us is in motion. Maintaining a death grip on the way we have always done things will surely rob our children of their futures. Things we could count on in the past – the predictability of our seasons, the conviction that the power will come back on in hours, the assurance that sea level will remain at sea level, the availability of work in the woods when all else dried up, the certainty of economic growth, the faith that great wealth for some will ensure a decent livelihood for many – are gone. As our footing has become uncertain, some have taken advantage of our anxiety and spread fear to benefit themselves. They have been successful, as we have become fearful. We are fearful about the economy, fearful about our debts, even fearful of each other – francophone and Anglophone, First Nation and newcomer – thanks to those who would rather divide our people to serve their interests, rather than unite them to transform New Brunswick and ensure our children have a decent future in our province. As Plato said, “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

Mr. Speaker, the hopes and dreams of young people are what I will keep at the forefront of my mind over the next four years. I will seek the views of youth, as much as I seek the views of the adults in my riding, and bring those views to our deliberations on the floor of this Legislative Assembly. Young people are hungry for change, even desperate for change. Youth want to play a role in transforming New Brunswick into a fairer and greener society. Youth want in. One way to let youth in is to lower the voting age to 16. This is something we can make possible as legislators.

Mr. Speaker, a recent Report from the Human Development Council reported that 21% of New Brunswick children lived below the poverty line in 2012, an increase from 19.8% in 1989, despite a 40% increase in New Brunswick’s per capita GDP over that period. Between 1989 and 2012 we saw the construction of not one, but two pipelines across our province, a massive expansion of the Irving Oil Refinery and a 61.5% increase in J.D. Irving’s allowable cut of softwood over the same period. Clearly, a growing economy has not reduced child poverty. In fact, it has increased, with the child poverty rate in Saint John, our most industrialized city, at 30.4%. If we want to reduce child poverty, parents need access to affordable childcare so they can afford to work. Parents need access to reliable public transportation so they can afford travel to work. While the government is committed to increasing the minimum wage, it’s not enough. Parents earning minimum wage should not have to pay the provincial portion of income tax, so they can better cope with their week-to-week expenses. Mr. Speaker, children need access to early childhood education to help equip them with the skills they need to break out of the poverty trap. UNB’s Early Childhood Research Centre has created impressive curriculum for early learning, but those children who need access to early learning the most cannot take advantage of it. It has been estimated that universal access to low-fee childcare in Quebec led to nearly 70,000 more mothers holding jobs than if the program had not existed, representing a 3.8% increase in women’s employment. The resulting increase in tax revenue exceeds the costs of the childcare program. We need to look at ways of ensuring universal access to childcare and early learning. Children need access to meal programs in their schools so they can learn optimally, and they need greater access to our alternative education system operated by our school districts for those who cannot function within the regular system. It is overcharged and the waiting lists are long.

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago the Child and Youth Advocate released his State of the Child report. It shows that the New Brunswick rate of hospital admissions for children and youth struggling with mental diseases and disorder is 80% higher than the national rate. It is estimated that 22% of youth from Grade Six to Twelve have low mental fitness. There is an urgent need to guarantee rapid access to mental health care for our children and youth. The State of the Child report also indicates that New Brunswick has a rate of children and youths who are victims of family violence that is 37% higher than the national average. It is well established that boys who witness violence in the home are at a higher risk of committing violence against women in adulthood. Sixty-five percent of women seeking shelter in Transition Houses were witnesses to domestic violence as children. There is a pressing need for therapeutic treatment for these children, which is not something Transition House staff are able to provide. According to the State of the Child Report, the rate of persons charged with sexual violations against children in New Brunswick is 63% higher than the national rate, which the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate describes as cause for alarm.

Mr. Speaker, I want to draw special attention to the difficulties faced by youth between the ages of 16 and 18 in finding a safe place to live when escaping violence, sexual abuse, neglect, or reaching the age where they are too old for foster care. The youth residences such as Chrysalis House in Fredericton and the Miramichi Youth House have long waiting lists, leaving youth at tremendous risk by lacking the ability to accommodate youth in emergency situations. Frankly, I was appalled that the Telegraph Journal, in its editorial commenting on findings of the State of the Child Report, chose to limits its focus to child obesity. I was also disappointed to see so little attention given to advancing the rights and well-being of children and youth in the Speech from the Throne, given the findings of the State of the Child Report. Parents will sacrifice much to ensure the health and well-being of their children. A similar priority must permeate our policy and budget priorities. We need to build an infrastructure of midwifery to provide the continuity of care for invents and support for Moms. We must invest in strengthening the infrastructure of childcare and early learning. We must invest in providing preventative mental health care and rapid access to diagnosis and treatment. We must invest in safeguarding women from domestic violence and that means investing in treating children who have been witness to violence in the home to break the chain of violence.

As the Leader of the Third Party in this House, the criticisms I make regarding government policy and priorities are not to condemn, but to highlight our challenges so we can work together as legislators to better serve the common good. My arguments will be based on reason, on evidence, and on principles. Mr. Speaker, you have my word that my critiques will be directed toward ideas, not individual personalities on the other side of this House. Mr. Speaker, we can and must afford to build a just society based on fairness and equality. We can and must afford to build a sustainable society based on living within ecological constraints, reducing our fossil fuel use to safe levels, and living within our financial means. I will support, or work to improve those policies, budget commitments and legislation brought forward by government that are consistent with these goals.

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’Watered-down’ deal struck at UN climate talks

15 12 2014

T&T  DEC 15


   LIMA, PERu • Climate negotiators salvaged a compromise deal in Lima early Sunday that sets the stage for a global pact in Paris next year, but rejected a rigorous review of greenhouse gas emissions limits.

More than 30 hours behind schedule, delegates from more than 190 countries agreed on what information should go into the pledges that countries submit for the expected Paris pact.   They argued all day Saturday over the wording for the watered-down deal, with developing nations worried that the text blurred the distinction between what rich and poor countries can be expected to do.

Many developing countries, the most vulnerable to climate change’s impacts, accuse rich nations of shirking their responsibilities to curb climate change and pay for the damage it inflicts.   The final draft of the deal alleviated those concerns with language saying countries have “common but differentiated responsibilities” to deal with global warming.

“As a text it’s not perfect, but it includes the positions of the parties,” said Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who was the conference chairman and had spent most of the day meeting separately with delegations.

In presenting a new, fourth draft just before midnight, Peru’s environment minister gave a sharply reduced body of delegates an hour to review it. Many delegates had already quit the makeshift conference centre on the grounds of Peru’s army headquarters.

It also restored language demanded by small island states at risk of being flooded by rising seas, mentioning a “loss and damage” mechanism agreed upon in last year’s talks in Poland that recognizes that nations hardest hit by climate change will require financial and technical help.   “We need a permanent arrangement to help the poorest of the world” Ian Fry, negotiator for the Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu, said at a midday session.

However, the approved draft weakened language on the content of the pledges, saying they “may” instead of “shall” include quantifiable information showing how countries intend to meet their emissions targets.   Also, top carbon polluter China and other major developing countries opposed plans for a review process that would allow the pledges to be compared against one another before Paris.

In Lima, the momentum from last month’s joint U.S.-China deal on emissions targets faded quickly as rifts reopened over who should do what to fight global warming. The goal of the talks is to shape a global agreement in Paris that puts the world on a path to reduce the heat-trapping gases that scientists say are warming the planet.

 The new draft mentioned only that all pledges would be reviewed a month ahead of Paris to assess their combined effect on climate change.

“I think it’s definitely watered down from what we expected” said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists.   

Sam Smith, chief of climate policy for the environmental group WWF, said: “The text went from weak to weaker to weakest and it’s very weak indeed”   

Chief U.S. negotiator Todd Stern acknowledged that negotiations had been contentious but said the outcome was “quite good in the end.” He had warned Saturday that failing to leave Lima with an accord would be “seen as a serious breakdown” that could put the Paris agreement and the entire UN process at risk.

Though negotiating tactics always play a role, virtually all disputes in the UN talks reflect a wider issue of how to divide the burden of fixing the planetary warming that scientists say results from human activity, primarily the burning of oil, coal and natural gas.

Historically, Western nations are the biggest emitters. Currently, most CO2 emissions are coming from developing countries led by China and India as they grow their economies and lift millions of people out of poverty.   

During a brief stop in Lima on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said fixing the problem is “everyone’s responsibility, because it’s the net amount of carbon that matters, not each country’s share”

According to the UN’s scientific panel on climate change, the world can pump out no more than about 1 trillion tons of carbon to have a likely chance of avoiding dangerous levels of warming — defined in the UN talks as exceeding 2 degrees centigrade (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above 19th-century averages.

It already has spent more than half of that carbon budget as emissions continue to rise, driven by growth in China and other emerging economies.

Klein: 3-Day Workweek to Save the Climate

15 12 2014

By Naomi Klein bigissue.comNo Logo author Naomi Klein says we must revolutionise our working lives if we are to combat climate change and save the free world…

Imagine an ordinary, full-time working week, one that requires just 21 hours of hard graft. Imagine a less frantic existence – three days on, four days off. Imagine more time with the family, more time strolling round the park, more time listening to your favourite music while cooking at a leisurely pace. A lovely idea – but does it really stack up?

The phrase ‘three-day week’ might, for readers of a certain age, conjure up memories of the early 1970s: electricity blackouts and TV broadcasts stopping at 10.30pm. Yet a growing number of people are advocating a 21-hour working week as the solution to the 21st century’s most pressing problems.

Naomi Klein is the latest big thinker to back the idea of a shorter working week and sees it as part of a transition toward a low-carbon economy and a move away from “shitty” long-hour, low-paid jobs, as she outlines to The Big Issue…

When did you begin to think free-market economics are a threat to life on Earth?

When I started hanging around with climate change deniers, it became clear they understood the current economic system could not survive if climate change was real. You can’t hold on to ideas like freedom from regulation and liberating profit in the face of a crisis like climate change, which clearly demands collective action and strong regulation. We need to cut our emissions so deeply that it threatens the whole growth model of free-market capitalism.

Some economists are now talking about moving beyond the idea of growth and our obsession with GDP. Is that a good thing?

It’s exciting that people are talking about these things. We know chasing endless growth doesn’t deliver well-being or economic stability and is leading to widening inequality. So it’s much easier to challenge now. It’s really about having a strategic economy, focusing on parts of the economy we want to expand or extract.

You write about “selective degrowth” and ideas like a shorter working week and a universal basic income to discourage “shitty work”. Do you think people are ready for those ideas?

I think people know they’re overworked. And overworking is intimately tied to a particularly wasteful model of consumption – you have no time after work to do anything other than grab a takeaway, and less time for low-consumption activities like cooking.

Does the environment movement need to become more radical?

The environmental movement has a history of elitism. Not the entire movement – there have been grassroots outsiders engaging in confrontation tactics – but there’s a history of conservation and hunting clubs, bringing in royalty and so on. It’s not exactly been part of the left, which is why there’s been suspicion between progressive political movements and the environmental movement. There’s a lot of work to be done between natural allies.

So it’s time to stop pretending big companies are going to change everything?

There’s been a bias among many big environmental organisations to build coalitions with other elite groups. You’d be amazed by how much time green groups in the US spend thinking about how to get the Pentagon using green energy. Really? Is that the best we can hope for?

The idea we’re all guilty is demobilising because it prevents us directing our anger at the institutions most responsible

And it’s time to get angry?

Yes – I think people should be angry. A lot of environmentalist discourse has been about erasing responsibility: “We’re all in this together… We’re all equally responsible.” Well, no – you, me and Exxon (Mobil) are not all in this together.The idea we’re all guilty is demobilising because it prevents us directing our anger at the institutions most responsible.

Do you think working people will see the connection between climate change and their own pressing struggles?

Most people don’t have good choices. They use fossil fuels because they have to – not because they love Exxon or Shell. We’re seeing an important discussion around fuel poverty. Fossil fuels aren’t delivering energy people can afford easily, if about a quarter of people in this country are choosing not to turn the heat on at times because they can’t afford the bills. I think people will start to see that action on climate change can address pressing issues.

How do you stay optimistic when the picture looks so bleak?

I don’t think you can engage with this material without being on an emotional rollercoaster. Our elites have never treated climate change as a real crisis, they only pay lip service to it. But a wide social movement can change that. Pressure from below can force recalcitrant elites to respond.

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, by Naomi Klein (£20, Allen Lane), is out now

Stanley Divided Over Sisson brook

14 12 2014
DG   DEC 10
Village divided over mining project

Sisson Brook tungsten mine would create jobs, but also evokes fears

STANLEY • A big mining project that could bring hundreds of jobs to this picturesque village has divided the community just like the pristine river that runs through it.

Stanley, about a 45-minute drive north of Fredericton, is nearby the proposed Sisson Brook tungsten mine. The Liberal provincial government supports the $579-million project to create an open-pit mine that would bring with it up to 300 permanent, full-time jobs.

But some people fear the environmental risks are too great and worry about the future of the Nashwaak River, which winds its way for more than 100 kilometres through the heart of Stanley, Nashwaak Bridge, Taymouth, Durham Bridge and Penniac before draining into the St. John River at Fredericton.

“People who don’t need the work, don’t want it,” said Heidi Flynn, who works at the local pharmacy. “There’s nothing to do in Stanley. There’s no work here. I’m not completely for it or against it because I worry about the environment too. But I’d like to see the work. It would be a big bonus around here.”

Flynn, who grew up in the area, said everyone in the community of about 400 people knows family and friends who have left to work in Western Canada. Many still commute between New Brunswick and Alberta, resting at home for seven days before shipping out for two weeks to toil in the oilsands.

“They’re tired. By the time they get back from Alberta, they’ve lost one of their days off because of all the travel. Nobody wants to leave home.”
Shirley Wilson, who lives in North Tay and whose son attended school in Stanley, is leery of the big mine.
“I’m not against people having more business, better employment and people prospering, but I don’t think we have the whole picture yet and know enough about the long-term consequences,”she said.

“We’ll have jobs created over the short-term and we’ll bring in a lot of people with skills from other places because many people from this community have already left for out west.”

She worries whether Northcliff Resources, the company behind the Sisson Partnership, will do enough to clean up the site once the mine is closed.   It’s impossible to overlook the importance of the river when you approach the village, nestled in a deep valley, with homes, businesses, schools and the village office sharing its banks.

Traditionally, people in Stanley made their living in the woods or on nearby farms, enough to support dozens of stores. But much of that work has dried up, people have moved away and businesses have closed.

The schools, an elementary school attached to a middle school and high school but run by separate administrations, has a combined enrolment of 252 children. A decade ago, 370 children attended classes there. It’s the same sort of steady decline many rural areas have suffered throughout New Brunswick.

Last week, district officials held a meeting in the village to flog the idea of putting the schools under one administration, something that has confused and angered parents who say the community could be on the cusp of a mini-boom and reverse in student enrolment.

The company is waiting for environmental and regulatory approvals from Ottawa and the province, and needs to attract more investment before getting the massive project underway, still many months away.

But there is also deep concern for what could happen to the clear waters of the Nashwaak and its plentiful fish.

Some people in the village declined interview requests, saying they didn’t want to anger their neighbours.

Bernard Gullison, 80, wasn’t shy to give his opinion. The retired lumberjack once moved to Alberta to find work, but he retired to his hometown. When he was a forestry worker, he helped cut the right of way for NB Power that skirts beside the mine site.

“It’s too late in my life to worry about the river,” he said after finishing his breakfast at the local diner. “I salmon fished all my life, and they closed the river to salmon fishing, so I’ve kind of given up on it.”

He said it was more important to create jobs and grow the village again.

“I’d like to see the mine open. It’s been 10 years since they started looking at it,” he said.“It’ll make some work.”

Marilyn Steele, who lives just outside the village, said anything that would bring jobs to Stanley and the surrounding area would be a blessing.

“I feel the same way about shale gas,” she said, a position that’s at odds with people who have posted red Say No to Shale Gas signs on their properties along the highway to Stanley. The new Liberal government is about to impose a moratorium on shale gas development, arguing not enough is known about the potential risks to people’s health and the environment.

But Steele says Stanley needs some kind of economic development.

“Look around. There are no jobs around here. Most people have to travel to Fredericton to work, and we have a decrease in our student population in our schools. I’ve lived here all my life and seen a lot of demographic changes   – the population is getting older.”

Enos Baggs, a prep cook at the diner, has heard plenty of patrons chew over the idea of the mine.

“Some people worry about what it would do and the environmental impact of it,” said Baggs, who’s originally from Newfoundland. He married a woman from Stanley and moved to the village about 20 years ago. “But at the same time, I think people would like to see some of the younger people come back and be able to work in this community again, instead of everyone going out west to work.”

Many people worry whether the tailings from the mine would be properly contained and if they’d ever leach into the surrounding watershed and the Nashwaak, whose headwaters are just upriver. People still fish and canoe in the area, and they are proud of their waterfront homes and cottages, which fetch a higher price on the real estate market.

“I’d hate to see anything happen to the environmental part of it. The jobs won’t mean much if our watershed is gone,”Baggs said.“But it’s like anything, jobs grow the town.”

Pope Francis: Climate Change Requires Solidarity

13 12 2014

Pope: Climate Change a serious ethical and moral responsibility

Pope Francis – AFP

11/12/2014 12:29
(Vatican Radio) The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, is currently underway in Lima, Peru. The conference aims to look at the progress being made in the application of this legal guideline.In his message to Mr. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of the Environment of Peru and President-Designate of the Conference or COP 20, Pope Francis expressed his closeness and encouragement, that the work being done at the meeting would be undertaken with an open and generous mind.

He add that what they are discussing affects all humanity, especially the poor and future generations. Even more so, the Pope stressed, it is a serious ethical and moral responsibility.

The Holy Father noted that the conference was taking  place on the coastline adjacent to the maritime current of Humboldt, which unites , as he put it, the peoples of America, Oceania and Asia, in a symbolic embrace and which plays a key role in the climate of the entire planet.

The consequences of environmental change, said Pope Francis remind us of the severity of neglect and inaction on this issue and he warned that “the time to find global solutions is running out.”

But, he also underlined that, “we can find solutions only if we act together and agree.” There is therefore, a clear, definitive and urgent ethical imperative to act, he said.

Pope Francis concluded his message by saying that the effective fight against global warming will only be possible through a collective response and develops free from political and economic pressures.

A collective response, he added, is also one that is able to overcome mistrust and to promote a culture of solidarity, encounter and dialogue.

The UN conference runs from the 1st -12th of December

D’Arcy Urges City to Seek Meeting with TransCanada

6 12 2014
Concerns expressed about major projects’ effects on Fredericton
Local environmental activist Mark D’Arcy is asking Fredericton city council to get involved in several projects close to the capital that may have an impact on climate change.
D’Arcy appeared before the city’s public safety and environment committee Tuesday and asked the city to send a letter to TransCanada Corp. requesting a public meeting in Fredericton about the proposed Energy East pipeline.
He also asked the city to do the same thing in a letter to Northcliff Resources Ltd. about the proposed Sisson Brook mining project.   In addition, D’Arcy urged the city to go on the record and say that used fracking water would never be treated in Fredericton’s waste water treatment system.
“The Energy East pipeline would be the largest oil pipeline in North America”he said.  “Citizens need to be properly informed about the public health and safety implications .”
D’Arcy said citizens have the right to know:
• if TransCanada will post a bond to cover any damages from pipeline spills,
• what chemicals will be used to dilute the bitumen in the pipeline;
• if a computer model would be created to analyze the impact of a spill here on the city’s drinking water aquifer;   • if dispersants would be allowed in cleanups;
• if the pipeline would allow the oilsands to be tripled in size;
• if such an increase in size would require the use of more train cars to move oil;
• if First Nations would be consulted; and
• if the pipeline would affect Canada’s ability to hit its greenhouse gas targets.
He said Quebec, Ontario and several First Nations groups are already on the record with opposition to the pipeline that will delay or even block the project.
That means the pipeline company has plenty of time to hold a meeting in Fredericton, said D’Arcy. He also wants to know if the city has been offered any promises or money by TransCanada. D’Arcy asked to be able to present his requests directly to council rather than just before the committee. But Coun. John MacDermid said the committee could send D’Arcy’s request to council and made a motion to that effect. Deputy Mayor Eric Megarity seconded the motion and it passed. But he also said that while he supports protecting the environment,society can’t stop all development. “You’ve got to have a plan to kick-start the economy,”said Megarity. Coun. Greg Ericson said as far as he knows TransCanada hasn’t offered or promised anything to Fredericton.

Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters Animation

4 12 2014

A new music video featuring the music of Kinnie Starr has stop-motion wood carved characters confronting Prime Minister Stephen Harper, depicted on a super tanker travelling around Haida Gwaii.

Haida Raid 3: Save Our Waters was released this week, in response to the December 2013 recommended approval of the controversial EnbridgeNorthern Gateway.

The video is a collaboration of activism and culture, produced by the Haidawood collective, who make stop motion animation featuring Haida culture and language.

Eyes on Peru – Calling All Idle No More

3 12 2014

Earth Guardians, Water and Land Defenders!


December 1st to 12th: It’s time to let the global climate policy makers who will be meeting in Lima, Peru, know that we demand a safe future for ourselves and those yet to come.

We invite you and your group (if you have one) to organize an event and share it far and wide. Not in a group? Take a photo of you and your friends with sign(s) of what you want the Climate Negotiators to know and post it here and on other social media outlets. #EyesOnPeru

Read more:  Idle No More Website – Facebook Event Page

3 12 2014
Idle No More

Idle No More stands in solidarity with all land and human rights defenders and protectors.   Read the actions and updates below and share your Idle No More story for Dec 10th!

Dec 10th – Celebrating Idle No More Stories

We invite you to share your artwork, videos, poems, songs and stories for us to share with the world. SHARE THE SPIRIT OF IDLE NO MORE! What does Idle No More mean to you? How did you get involved in the movement? How are you still involved? How is your INM work impacting your community?

Share Your Idle No More Video

Standing on our Inherent/ Treaty Position! #STOPC27

Indigenous Nations from Treaties No. 4, 6 and 7 are actively organizing to resist Canada’s forceful implementation of C-27 legislation (First Nations Financial Transparency and Accountability Act).  The government of Canada’s C-27 legislation came into effect July 2014, calling for the public posting of consolidated audits and individuals’ income and expenses on a website hosted by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) in violation of the rights of the Indigenous individuals and the Indigenous Nations.

Read More – Idle No More Website – StopC27 Website

Dec 3, 2014:  Thunderchild First Nation Court Hearing and Rally #CFAHoldRations

Thunderchild refuses to sign 2014/15 Contribution Funding Agreement (CFA) and has taken court action.  The title of the court case is “Thunderchild First Nation et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen et al.” All are invited to organize their own events across the lands in support.

Event Info – Idle No More Website – Facebook Event Page – Thunderchild Website

Stop Statoil Deep Sea Oil Drilling In Aotearoa

Stop Drilling PosterSeismic testing, which has a devastating impact on the environment, begins in December as the first step towards oil drilling. Come, learn, enjoy and discuss our environment’s future before it’s too late.

Event Info – Idle No More Website – Facebook Event Page

We Stand Together: Courageous First Nation Challenges Canada China FIPPA

Hupacasath First Nation calls for greater disclosure on the impact of the FIPPA Agreement in wake of Prime Minister Harper’s trip to China.  Brenda Sayers, a representative of the Hupacasath Nation added, “The Prime Minister had an opportunity to strengthen relationships with First Nations through the Kelowna Accord, but that promise was broken…”

Read More – Website – Facebook Page

Burnaby Mountain Resistance

Burnaby Mountain, located on the outskirts of Vancouver and Burnaby, British Columbia, is surrounded by residents concerned about the impacts of a Kinder Morgan trans-mountain pipeline expansion.  Anti-pipeline activists set up an encampment on Burnaby Mountain in September in an attempt to block Kinder Morgan crews from accessing the area.  Since then, a court injunction was granted to Kinder Morgan, giving them access to the mountain to begin their survey and drilling work.  Indigenous Peoples whose unceded lands are located on Burnaby Mountain along with allies have been vigilant and peaceful while some have crossed a line to protest and have gotten arrested. To date approximately 50 arrests have been made.

Read More – News – Idle No More Website

Northern Trappers “Holding the Line” in Treaty 8 near LaLoche, Saskatchewan

Idle No More and Defenders of the Land support and acknowledge the Northern Trappers Alliance in protecting and defending their lands and waters against mineral companies’ exploration and extraction activities, which will inevitably impact their health, environment and sources of livelihood.  For the long term, this impact will adversely affect all peoples.

Read More – Idle No More Website – Full Statement of Solidarity

CNRL Oil Spills Too Common- **ANOTHER OIL SPILL** Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

“RED EARTH CREEK, Alta. – The Alberta Energy Regulator says close to 60,000 litres of crude oil have spilled into muskeg in the province’s north…The AER is also investigating bitumen leaks at CNRL’s Primrose oilsands project in eastern Alberta, which were discovered during the spring of 2013. Some 1.2 million litres of a bitumen-water emulsion have been recovered.”

Read More – News

Kandi Mossett Fights Fracking in North Dakota

“…This is starting to be a common occurrence that we’re starting to see, it’s what, for me, used to be called ‘God’s Country’…it’s so hard to do this work when so many are against you but we do, we get together, we organize, and we take back the power because nobody’s going to do it for us…”

Kandi Mossett Video

No Oil Drilling in Canary Islands

The Spanish  government  and  oil corporation Repsol  started oil drilling  in pristine marine sanctuary off Canary Islands. Locals are irate because of the inevitable environmental degradation and the damage to the tourism industry. The Spanish Army attacked a peaceful demonstration of Greenpeace activists, resulting in injuries and a fine of 50,000 euros to release the Artic Sunrise. The group Canarias NYC is organizing numerous protests in New York. Our next protest will be on Tuesday, December 4 to oppose an award that the president of Repsol will receive by the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce.

Read More – Facebook Page – Website

Couillard Says No to TransCanada Quebec Port Terminal Plan

3 12 2014
TJ   DEC 3

QUEBEC • Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says TransCanada Corp.should abandon its plan to build a port terminal in an area where belugas have been listed as an endangered species.

A federal government wildlife committee concluded that the beluga’s numbers in the Cacouna area in eastern Quebec have dwindled to 1,000 from a high of 10,000.   Couillard says that information will make the project harder for TransCanada (TSX:TRP) to sell at environmental hearings in Quebec and with the National Energy Board.
On Monday, it announced it would halt all work on the terminal in response to concerns the project could hurt the beluga habitat.   Couillard made his comments in Quebec City at a joint news conference with Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, who reiterated the economic importance of the project becoming reality.   He also stressed the economic importance of the pipeline for Alberta and the country as a whole.
TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) wants to build a 4,600-kilometre pipeline to carry 1.1 million barrels per day of oil-sands crude from Alberta to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick.   The final stop would be the Irving Oil refinery and a proposed $300-million export terminal in Saint John.
The company filed a 30,000-page application for the project with the National Energy Board in October.   Couillard’s government has laid out various conditions for the project,including that it be subject to an environmental assessment and that TransCanada prepare an emergency plan for a spill. Quebec also insists TransCanada must consult with communities, including First Nations, along the pipeline’s route, before the project will be accepted.   Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in Ottawa and the provincial governments in Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have thrown their support behind the project.
Ontario and Quebec have been less enthusiastic, issuing a list of seven conditions to gain their support, including proof that Energy East won’t harm the environment and will provide them economic benefits.   New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says the project can’t be taken for granted and vows to continue lobbying for it, arguing it will benefit the entire country.
He has met with Couillard, Prentice and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to discuss the Energy East project.   Prentice is scheduled to meet with Wynne in Toronto Wednesday.   – With files from the Telegraph-Journal


Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, left, and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, met Tuesday in Quebec City. Among the topics the two touched on was the Energy East pipeline project. Photo: thE CANADIAN PRESS