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2012-03-22  |  John Bennett


Dear Friends,

Below find a letter that I sent yesterday to Patricia Best of Natural Resources Canada.

It pertains to remarks she made to Canadian Press about Sierra Club Canada, which we feel are inaccurate and derogatory.

Sincerely,

John Bennett, Executive Director
Sierra Club Canada
jb@sierraclub.ca

Follow me on Twitter

Patricia Best, Director of Communications
Natural Resources Canada
21st Floor, Room C2-2
580 Booth Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E4

Wednesday, March 21, 2012M

Re: Apology

Dear Ms. Best,

...
2012-03-14  |  John Bennett

I may be a little more preoccupied with the government campaign to marginalize environmental groups (more than most) so apologies to those who feel I’ve been harping on this too much.
 
Speaking of harping … it’s Harp Seal hunt season and there is no ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for to the seals to give birth (yet the government has given hunters a quota to kill 400,000 pups). Climate change is putting the seals and seal hunters out of business. A sensible government, one might think, would be putting the fossil fuel industry out of business in response. Instead, of course, it is trying to put people like me out of business.
 
Or is it?

Are environmental organizations the real target of the Harper government? Is curtailing the power of the environmental movement what all this talk of “radicals” and meddling “foreign interests” is about.  It might be if we had any real power and...

2012-03-07  |  John Bennett

If the twentieth century taught us anything, it taught us that concentrating too much power in the hands of a few is a very dangerous thing. In fact, the recognition of the necessity of keeping competing interests apart goes back a lot further.

Democratic countries have long upheld the importance of the separation of church and state. There are too many examples of excesses that can result from state enforcement of religious belief. Look no further than Iran for a real-time reason why.

We don’t, however, question the marriage of state and ideology - more specifically, government and big business - despite the havoc this union has caused over the past century. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, no? Even in the face of the (most recent) global economic meltdown – clearly caused by the excesses of laissez-faire capitalism - government and industry continue to grow closer.

UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP

Towards the end of the...

2012-02-28  |  John Bennett

Do we have a principal to set things right?

It struck me the other day: Canada is stuck in a “Mean Girls” high school movie plot. Then the Robo-Call scandal broke and confirmed it.

Twenty years ago a new kid showed up in the parliamentary cafeteria. He was a big deal in Alberta. The son of Premier, but in Ottawa he was just an upstart from the country who needed to be put in his place. The in-crowd had nothing but scorn. They made fun of the way he talked, the clothes he wore, his nerdy glasses, even how he combed his hair. It wasn’t long before his dream of improving democracy was dashed and he was headed home. But he brought a few young buddies to Ottawa who stayed, vowing to teach those eastern kids a thing or two. They chose a new leader who, like Lindsay Lohan, was very talented - but with a flawed personality.

Along with their new leader they met up with some kids they knew from down south who showed them how to get even...

2012-02-22  |  Michael Matthys

Here are a couple of links to articles on Nestle from our ally the Polaris institute. Although they were published last year they are still a useful resource for water advocates and concerned citizens.

First is, 

Turning water into money 

Talk of trading access to water on an open market stirs controversy, but it's already a reality in Alberta

 

Last month, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, the chairman of Nestlé SA, the world’s largest food company, made a splash in Alberta for announcing, via an interview with Reuters in Geneva, that Nestlé was in talks with the Alberta government to establish a so-called water exchange—a market in which water, life’s sine qua non, could be bought and sold just like wheat, pork bellies or any other commodity. “We are actively dealing with the government of Alberta to think about a water...

 
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