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2014-08-26  |  John Bennett

My brother liked to throw things at me shouting “THINK FAST!"

Now I’m doing it to you! August 29th is the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's (CNSC) deadline for comments on its “Hypothetical Severe Nuclear Accident and Effectiveness of Mitigation Measures" report. You can send yours here.

Sorry for giving you so little time.

Back in 2012 we all urged the CNSC to consider what would happen if a Fukushima-scale accident took place in Canada. Would the CNSC's emergency measures have been effective?

Now we knew we would get a big pile of assurances that all is well and don’t worry, but we thought we might get a legit review in light of the disaster in Japan. However, CNSC hasn’t looked at a Fukushima-scale...

2014-08-10  |  John Bennett

The National Energy Board (NEB) is continuing its undemocratic approach to pleasing its master: the oil industry. Most recently, the Calgary-based rubber stamp is trying to use the summer to hide yet another concession. On July 11th the NEB said it was going consider a request from Imperial Oil and Chevron to weaken the rules for offshore drilling in the Arctic and gave the public until August 1st to comment (some strong arguing won an extra two weeks).

What the NEB is entertaining might very well lead to an ecological disaster in the Canadian Arctic where Imperial Oil and Chevron want to operate outside the rules for drilling. They simply want to avoid the cost of drilling relief wells and, predictably, the NEB is seriously considering it. It’s a case of pinching pennies that could risk billions. For details...

2014-07-09  |  John Bennett

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not good at keeping secrets, and I particularly don’t like when governments work in secret. Governments feed us a lot of malarkey about why secrecy is essential, but 9 times out of 10 there’s no justifiable reason.

Here are some government plans developing in secret that everyone should know about.

SECRET #1

At an undisclosed location in Ottawa this week, 400 delegates from Pacific Rim countries are negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) - the latest ‘free trade’ deal our government says we just have to have.

Last January, some of the sections of the draft agreement showed up on Wiki Leaks including a chapter on dealing with the environment. The contents have fired up our US cousins because the language appears to violate a US law requiring all trade deals signed by the US to apply the same...

2014-06-17  |  John Bennett

June 17, 2014

Today the federal cabinet approved the Northern Gateway Tar Sands pipeline.

It’s a decision that could define our times. We are witnessing the final stages of a protracted wrestling match between our future and our past.

Can we afford to let this decision stand? Aren’t our children--born and unborn--depending on us?

I’m not going to go into all the reasons why we must end our fossil fuel addiction, and move on to a clean energy future. You’ve heard it before.

But this decision could be different. It could be a game-changer. The Northern Gateway Tar Sands pipeline could be a turning point because of the huge opposition in British Columbia —unparalleled in Canadian history:

  • 130 First Nations and over 10,000 residents have...
2014-05-21  |  John Bennett

May 22, 2014

It’s been a busy week for government propagandists. Why?

Back when I was a reporter I had a mantra I would chant to myself while writing: Who, What, When, and Why. Who, What, When, and Why? It’s particularly effective when applied to government stories, so let’s apply it to last week’s series of announcements.

WHO: The federal government that has turned a deaf ear to climate change and mitigation, and stripped itself of the ability to protect the environment by gutting the Environmental Assessment, Fisheries and Navigable Waters Acts.

WHAT: New rules for tankers that raise the ceiling on corporate liability but not enough to ensure taxpayers won’t be making a big contribution to cleaning up the next disastrous oil spill....

 
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