SNAPSHOT: Canada’s Contradiction: Low-Carbon Leader or Perpetual Petro-State?

 
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2018 was the year Canada’s policy contradictions on climate and energy came home to roost, as the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to square its enthusiastic embrace of the Paris Agreement with its equally avid support for the country’s carbon-emitting fossil industry. With the federal election coming up in October 2019, and an equally momentous vote in Alberta scheduled for May, the story intensified through the year, and the fault lines became ever more obvious.

Trudeau’s determined effort to chart a middle course between fossil dependency and climate responsibility earned him angry rebukes from both sides of the line, with a growing number of columnists and analysts concluding that he can’t have it both ways. The single biggest story of the year was the federal government’s decision to give in to an ultimatum from Houston-based Kinder Morgan Ltd. and spend C$4.5 billion to buy taxpayers a 65-year-old pipeline. That decision produced a sense of utter betrayal from Indigenous and other pipeline opponents—while fossils, incredibly, still accused the government of showing inadequate support for their failing industry.

In the end, analysis showed Canada falling massively short of its Harper-era carbon target under the Paris accord and unable to hit the target if it continued to insist on scaling up oil and gas production. One assessment showed carbon pricing eliminating 90 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2022, but still leaving the country 90 megatonnes short of a Paris goal that Trudeau and Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna had described as a floor, not a ceiling, for Canada’s climate ambition. Other analyses said Canada needed a higher carbon price and a wider suite of policy tools to get the job done, and the federal “backstop” price on carbon was on track to add 100 megatonnes to Alberta coal emissions.

Yet the strongest assurances the government offered had to do with the certainty of new fossil projects. Even after Canada signed on to a new high-ambition declaration, McKenna declined to strengthen the country’s carbon target. Earlier in the year, she attributed the country’s emissions gap to economic growth and expressed her continuing commitment to the Paris target.

Then-natural resources minister Jim Carr’s energy transition advisory council anticipated a future of wind, solar, energy efficiency, and the world’s “cleanest” liquefied natural gas (LNG) production; British Columbia welcomed a C$40-billion LNG megaproject; three new B.C. LNG projects neared approval; and Energy Mix correspondent Greg Allen said a 1.5°C future would require Canada to phase out natural gas. A new Ontario cement plant was expected to emit one megatonne per year, analysis placed the social cost of carbon from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as high as $8.7 billion up front and $4.1 billion per year, and doctors asked Trudeau for an independent health assessment of Trans Mountain.

In November, Canada posted the G20’s highest per capita GHG emissions, as a study showed average global warming would exceed 5.0°C if the whole world followed Canada’s, Russia’s, and China’s lead.

Climate Action Network-Canada (CAN-Rac) said it was time for fossils to pull their weight on Canada’s climate commitments. CAN-Rac Executive Director Catherine Abreu and Environmental Defence National Program Manager Dale Marshall called for a more robust accountability mechanism for Canada’s Paris commitments, and Clean Energy Canada cited skepticism about post-carbon solutions as the new climate denial. “We didn’t have time for climate denial, and we have even less time for solutions denial,” asserted Executive Director Merran Smith and Policy Director Dan Woynillowicz.

Opinion research showed Canadians backing strong climate leadership despite concerns about cost, opposing fossil fuel subsidies by a two-thirds margin, and supporting Ottawa’s backstop price on carbon. The latter poll also showed a smaller gap between the views of Albertans and those of British Columbians than most pundits and politicians believed. Veteran climate advocate and organizer Tzeporah Berman received a vicious response, complete with death threats, when she accepted a speaking engagement from a branch of the Alberta Teachers’ Association. Berman delivered an impassioned call for dialogue, foresight, and collaboration to help the province prosper in a post-carbon world. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley arranged to follow Berman’s speech with one of her own and came back with unicorns—literally. “We are better than this,” Berman said.

Pipeline to Tidewater: A False Narrative Props Up a Fading Industry

The battle over Canada’s energy future was driven in large part by the shaky proposition that a prosperous future awaited Alberta, if only the stars aligned to build new pipeline capacity to tidewater. As the year progressed, it became ever clearer that that storyline was false at worst, woefully incomplete at best.

The basic claim—repeated and repeated again by industry executives and Notley—was that the Alberta and Canadian economies were losing many millions of dollars per day because of the deep discount oilpatch producers had to offer for the Western Canadian Select crude oil they sell into world markets. Just get a pipeline built, they claimed, and a price differential in the range of C$50 per barrel would be cleared, or at least mitigated, bringing new benefits to the industry and the provincial economy that depends on it.

The intensity ratcheted up through the fall, as falling world oil prices drove the discounted Alberta market to the point of crisis. By mid-November, major tar sands/oil sands producers were berating each other for taking “windfall profits” by grabbing all the available pipeline space they could, and the “swashbuckling free marketeers” in the oilpatch were doing precisely what you might expect: losing patience with governments for not stepping in with a fully baked solution to their problems, warning of a new wave of western Canadian separatism, accusing/not accusing Ottawa of treason, even risking the appearance of insider trading by participating in a meeting with Notley to discuss measures to restrict production volumes. Cenovus Energy urged governments to impose production cuts to drive up fossil revenue, and Notley complied.

“The grade of oil that Alberta sells into world markets, Western Canadian Select, hit a rock-bottom price of US$13.46 per barrel,” The Energy Mix explained at the height of the industry’s mid-November hyperbole, “its lowest since Bloomberg began keeping track in 2008. They’re producing at a loss, and they want a solution right now. And they imagine that faster federal action to approve the intensely controversial Trans Mountain pipeline extension—a project that would be years away from delivering an ounce of heavy crude if construction restarted tomorrow—will somehow give them relief from today’s problem.

“They also imagine that they have anything less than the federal government’s full-throated support.”

Later, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers CEO Tim McMillan pivoted from complaints about pipelines and oil prices to an attack on Canada’s proposed new impact assessment act, Bill 69.

‘People Will Die’ to Get a Pipeline Built

But the harshest attacks from fossils and their supporters were reserved for campaigners on the front lines of the Trans Mountain fight. While Berman may have been the highest-profile target, she wasn’t alone. Former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge casually and chillingly suggested that “people will die” on the protest lines at Burnaby Mountain, asserting that killing off a few “extremists” might be the price Canada would have to pay to get the Trans Mountain expansion built. British Columbia’s Dogwood Initiative reported that “the hate mail is piling up” after investment banker and former Dragon’s Den panelist Brett Wilson suggested pipeline protesters should be hanged for treason. Wilson later doubled down by offering to pay B.C. New Democrat legislators to cross the floor and support the project.

A more sober assessment by senior economist and former insurance CEO Robyn Allan showed it was Alberta’s inferior tar sands/oil sands product, not the lack of market access, that was driving down the price the province could charge for its product. Later in the year, analysts at BNN Bloomberg agreed that a new pipeline would not eliminate the price discount on a lower-quality form of crude oil that is tougher for refineries to process. A rating agency warned that Alberta was still relying on new pipeline-related revenue to balance its budget in 2023–24, and tar sands/oil sands operations were on track to break through Alberta’s lifetime emissions cap.

In an exclusive, six-part series for The Energy Mix, award-winning investigative reporter Paul McKay pointed to global competition as a fatal flaw in Alberta’s tar sands/oil sands export plans, traced the business partners Ottawa might have to sign on with to get the pipeline built, assessed the impact of new emissions controls for international shipping on Alberta production, calculated the starkly unfavourable math Canada had accepted by buying the pipeline, and made the case that Teck Resources’ proposed new tar sands/oil sands megaproject is a “dead mine walking.” Some observers speculated that Teck may not even plan to build the mine—it just wants a plausible enough appearance of that plan to set the stage for a Kinder Morgan–style bailout.

Analyst David Hughes said it’s poor strategy to sell off fossil resources at bargain basement prices, BNN Bloomberg debunked the myth that a new pipeline would clear the price discount for poor-quality Alberta crude, and Oil Change International’s Adam Scott called Alberta production cuts a vision of what a managed decline could look like. Veteran Vox.com climate columnist David Roberts gave a hat-tip to supply-side campaigns that fall one step outside the climate mainstream, after economists Fergus Green and Richard Denniss made a “cogent argument that the activists are onto something—that restrictive supply-side (RSS) climate policies have unique economic and political benefits and deserve a place alongside carbon prices and renewable energy supports in the climate policy toolkit.”

Some 50,000 people rallied in Montreal to demand provincial climate action, days before 6,000 protesters closed five London bridges in Extinction Rebellion’s first major action.

Alberta’s oil and gas royalties plummeted while production increased, even though the province’s fossil companies remained incredibly profitable through a sustained oil price crash. A few months of higher oil prices fueled optimism but not euphoria in the oilpatch before prices crashed again; labour-saving efficiencies wiped out thousands of Alberta fossil jobs; and declines in investment, jobs, and tax revenue pointed to the end of the tar sands/oil sands era.

The head of the Alberta Energy Regulator resigned after revealing the province could face up to $260 billion in unfunded oilpatch liabilities. The carbon liabilities facing the province’s five biggest fossils were calculated at $2 trillion. Équiterre said a spike in pipeline incidents showed up the industry’s safety claims as “meaningless marketing mantras,” and Albertans were set to bear the clean-up costs for 155,000 abandoned oil and gas.

Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer was looking forward to making carbon pricing a ballot issue in the 2019 federal election, but was expected to pay a price at the polls for opposing carbon pricing and supporting pipelines. The federal backstop price earned support from a conservative-led think tank, the Globe and Mail, a normally critical climate hawk, and public opinion for promising a carbon price rebate in almost every mailbox.

Ottawa was set to remit $420 million directly to Ontario climate initiatives after the Doug Ford government dismantled the province’s successful carbon cap-and-trade program, cancelled 758 renewable energy contracts, and stopped construction of the White Pines wind farm as it neared completion.

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The federal government has issued a call for consulting proposals to study how widespread electrification can “reduce or eliminate” fossil fuel use across the economy.

Carbon Tax May Fail as Election Controversy with Gasoline Prices Holding Steady

While federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer may have hopes of turning the Liberal government’s carbon tax into an election issue, it’ll be hard to make the argument stick if actual gasoline prices aren’t cooperating, columnist Kelly McParland argues in the National Post.

Atlantic Canada Rethinks Infrastructure, Tree Planting to Prepare for More Frequent, Severe Storms

A steady stream of hurricane-force storms has Atlantic Canada rethinking its approach to electricity grids, shoreline defences, and even tree planting, while insurance companies brace themselves for damage claims that are set to double every five to seven years.

World Bank Agency Raises $750 Million with First-Ever Green Bond in Canadian Funds

The International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s first green bond ever issued in Canadian dollars has generated C$750 million in investment capital, the agency reported earlier this month.

Enbridge Plans $2.5-Billion Gas Processing Plant and Pipeline for Chetwynd, B.C.

Enbridge Corporation is proposing to build a new natural gas liquids extraction plant and pipeline based near Chetwynd, British Columbia, at a cost of C$2.5 billion.

Another U.S. Fossil Abandons Alberta

Suncor Aims to Cut Emissions with $1.4-Billion Cogeneration Investment

‘Time to Pull the Plug’: Report Shows Construction Delays, Safety Issues Delaying Trans Mountain, Making Pipeline a Financial Loser

Construction challenges, steadfast opposition from landowners along the route, shocking safety and health risks at two tank farms, and the looming risk of construction “man camps” near B.C. Indigenous communities all call into question the federal government’s stated belief that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will open on schedule in 2022, Vancouver-based Stand.earth concludes in a blockbuster report released Wednesday.
The resulting delays could boost the project’s completion costs, undercutting its financial viability and turning the now publicly-owned pipeline megaproject into a “white elephant”, Stand says.

Climate, Pipeline Protests Greet Trudeau’s Kick-Off Rally as Election 2019 Gets Under Way

Canada’s federal election campaign officially got under way Wednesday morning, with anti-pipeline protesters gathered outside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign launch and teen climate hawks from Sustainabiliteens chanting and singing in a bid to drown out his speech at the Italian Cultural Centre in East Vancouver.

Greenpeace Blocks Houston Ship Channel, Urges Climate Action by 2020 Democrats

With the Democratic Party in town for its latest candidate debate, 11 protesters from Greenpeace USA partially blocked the Houston Ship Channel, the busiest shipping route in the United States, after rappelling down the side of the Fred Hartman Bridge Thursday morning to protest fossil fuels.

Kenney’s ‘Foreign Influence’ Probe Draws Criticism from All Sides

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is under fire from all sides, after unveiling details of a taxpayer-funded investigation of supposed foreign-funded pipeline opposition that includes an email “snitch line” for Albertans to report allegedly “un-Albertan” activities by their neighbours.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNG_carrier

Horgan, Trudeau Accused of ‘Greenwashing’ Methane with Support for B.C. LNG

The British Columbia and federal governments are being accused of greenwashing the climate-busting methane emissions behind the province’s widely-touted liquefied natural gas expansion, with B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver—whose three-member legislative caucus is keeping Premier John Horgan’s New Democrats in power—comparing efforts to electrify LNG production to “putting lipstick on a pig”.

Squamish Nation Pans Poor Consultation by Woodfibre LNG

First Nations List Climate Action as First Priority for Next Federal Government

Just two days ahead of the official launch of Canada’s federal election, expected later this morning, the Assembly of First Nations released a policy paper identifying climate change as the top priority for the next federal government.

Climate Denial, Online Abuse Dominate Twitter as Election Messaging Gears Up

With social media gearing up for what promises to be a punishing federal election campaign, there’s mounting evidence that climate denial and other extremist views are getting set to dominate the online conversation—with a large share of the traffic coming from questionable accounts with posting patterns that look a lot like the automated troll farms that hijacked discussion during the 2016 campaign in the United States.

Beer: After Spat Over Pro-Fossil T-Shirt, Are Climate Action Messages Now Welcome in Senate Gallery?

The agency responsible for security across Parliamentary Precinct in Ottawa seems to be inadvertently taking sides in Canada’s politically fraught energy debates, after an oil and gas executive associated with the pro-fossil Canada Action lobby group tried to wear a provocative “I love Canadian oil and gas” t-shirt during a visit to the Senate.

Toronto Stock Exchange May Dump Seven Canadian Fossils Over Low Share Prices

Plummeting share values may soon drive up to seven small Canadian fossil companies out of the Standard & Poors/Toronto Stock Exchange Composite Index, a key listing that brings businesses to the attention of investors who might consider buying their stocks, according to a list of potential deletions published by analysts at AltaCorp Capital.

Oxford Properties Plans One Million Square Feet of Rooftop Solar by 2022

One of Canada’s biggest commercial real estate companies, Oxford Properties, is planning to install a million square feet (92,900 square metres) of rooftop solar panels on its retail and industrial properties across North America by 2022.

Fact-Checking Isn’t Enough to Counter Climate Denial, New Study Concludes

It’ll take more than a good fact check to shift the views of the more than one-quarter of Canadians who don’t believe climate change is real and caused by the human activity, according to a report released late last month by the Digital Democracy Project, a joint initiative of the Ottawa-based Public Policy Forum and the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University.

PEI’s Cavendish National Park Loses 80% of Trees in Hurricane Dorian

Montreal North Shore Nets $50M in Federal Flood Prevention Funds

New Canadian Energy Information Centre Could Fill Major Data Gaps

Canadian Climate Hawks Face Death Threats, Safety Fears as Federal Election Call Looms

On the eve of what promises to be a gruelling, six-week federal election campaign, the online venom the climate community has faced from assorted social media trolls is picking up momentum and translating into real-life threats, prompting some of Canada’s leading climate advocates to fear for their safety.

Bahamas Devastated, Coastal North Carolina Swamped as Hurricane Dorian Passes Through Atlantic Canada

Recovery efforts are under way in Atlantic Canada after a weakened but still-punishing Hurricane Dorian swept through the region as a Category 2 storm that toppled trees and a giant construction crane, brought down power lines, sent at least one roof airborne, and left about 80% of Nova Scotia without power.

Canadians in Every Riding Support Climate Action, New Research Shows

Canada is gearing up for a big election this fall and climate policy will likely be at the centre of debate. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are trumpeting their carbon pricing policy, while Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives want to get rid of it. Meanwhile, Elizabeth May and her newly relevant Greens think Canada must do more to manage the climate crisis.

May: Canadian Greens Would Not Back Any Other Party Based on Current Climate Plans

The federal Green Party wouldn’t support any of the other parties in a minority government situation based on their current climate action plans, Green leader Elizabeth May said last week, just seven weeks before the October 21 election.

Trans Mountain Wouldn’t Respond Fast Enough to Burnaby Mountain Tank Farm Fire, Federal Regulator Concludes

Trans Mountain Corporation won’t be able to respond fast enough if one of the bitumen storage tanks in its massive Burnaby Mountain tank farm boils over and spills, according to an audit completed in May by the National Energy Board, before it was replaced by the new Canada Energy Regulator.

Whales, Salmon, Sea Lions at Risk in West Coast Ocean Heat Wave

Whales, salmon, and sea lions are at risk as an ocean heat wave takes shape off the west coast of North America, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warned in a recent blog post.

Haisla Join $500-Million LNG Tug Business

Appeals Court to Hear First Nations’ Case on Trans Mountain Pipeline Re-Approval

Six British Columbia First Nations are getting ready for a “long road ahead”, in the words of Coldwater Indian Band Chief Lee Spahan, after the Federal Court of Appeals agreed this week to hear their legal challenge to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Civil Liberties Lawsuit Says Ontario’s ‘Sticker Act’ Violates Free Speech Guarantees

The Ontario government is violating free speech provisions in the Canadian Constitution by forcing gas stations to display its propaganda stickers opposing the federal carbon tax, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association contends in a lawsuit filed this week.

One-Third of Fort McMurray High Schoolers Show Signs of PTSD

More than one-third of high school students in Fort McMurray are showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), three years after the wildfire known as The Beast tore through their home town and forced many of them to escape by road through a wall of surrounding flames.

NW Ontario First Nation Uses Solar to Offset Diesel

Alberta Solar Developer Catches International Eye with 600-MW Project, Canada’s Biggest Ever

Southern Alberta is drawing international attention after the province approved Canada’s biggest-ever solar-electric installation, the 600-megawatt, privately-financed Travers Solar project in Vulcan County.

B.C., Ottawa Get Mixed Reviews with LNG-Fracking Industry Electrification Plan

The federal and British Columbia governments are getting mixed reviews for their plan to partly decarbonize the province’s emerging liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry by electrifying upstream fracking operations.

Sticker Campaign Counters Ontario Carbon Tax Propaganda as Ford Government Launches Supreme Court Challenge

A new non-partisan volunteer group in Ontario is handing out free pro-carbon-tax stickers to counter the mandatory propaganda campaign mounted earlier this year by the province, just as the Ford government announced it would appeal a court ruling that the federal carbon tax is permitted under the Canadian Constitution.

Environment and Climate Place High with Voters, But Carbon Tax Carries ‘Political Perils’

Canadian voters are concerned about climate change and see the environment as a top issue in the upcoming federal election campaign, but aren’t keen on climate action that they’ll have to pay for personally, according to new research released last week by the Public Policy Forum’s Digital Democracy Project.

Bernier Faces Twitter Storm for ‘Ignorant, Shameful’ Attacks on Thunberg

Federal party leader and former Harper cabinet minister Maxime Bernier provoked a fierce response earlier this week after trying to dismiss #FridaysForFuture founder and international climate leader Greta Thunberg as “mentally unstable”.

Canadian Parks & Wilderness Study Traces ‘Double Whammy’ of Climate, Biodiversity

PEI Steps Away from Supreme Court Carbon Tax Challenge

Canadian Energy Regulator Rises from NEB’s Ashes, Faces First Industry Dispute

Green Builders Call for New Investment in 2020 Federal Budget

York Region Demonstrates Ontario’s First Local Electricity Market

Liberals Would Not Raise Carbon Tax During a Second Term, But Might Talk About It: McKenna

A re-elected Liberal government that took office this fall would not raise the federal carbon tax above its current 2022 threshold of C$50 per tonne, but might open consultations on a higher price toward the end of its second term in office, Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna clarified Monday, after a series of conflicting news reports dating back to the weekend.

Canada, UK Boost Their Green Climate Fund Contributions, Still Fall Short of Fair Share

Canada and the United Kingdom both announced new contributions to the United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF) during last weekend’s G7 meeting in France, but Canada’s announcement brought immediate concern the level of funding would short-change the countries most affected by the climate crisis.

Ontario Government Lays Groundwork to Abandon Legal Fight Against Federal Carbon Tax

Less than two months after a landmark Ontario Court of Appeals ruling upheld the federal carbon tax, Premier Doug Ford may be preparing the ground to abandon his much-publicized court challenge against the program.

Federal Rebate Needed to Prevent Canada from ‘Missing the Bus’ on Electrified Transit

If Canada wants transit agencies to buy more electric buses, it should introduce the kind of simple, predictable, easily accessible funding that is jump-starting adoption of electric vehicles, Fernando Melo of Clean Energy Canada and Robert Parsons of the University of Manitoba argue in a post for Policy Options.

New Approach to Geothermal Requires No Fracking or Water, Produces No GHG Emissions

A first-of-its-kind approach to geothermal energy that uses no fracking or water and produces no greenhouse gas emissions is turning heads in central Alberta, where Calgary-based Eavor Technologies is building a C$10-million pilot plant.

Satellite to Begin Measuring NE B.C. Methane Emissions Next Year

Quebec Court Leaves Door Open for Climate Litigation

Six Nations Rolls Renewables Revenue Into Community Services

Canada’s Climate Plan Falls Behind G7 as Global Business Coalition Urges Tougher Targets

Canada’s climate action plan is one of the least ambitious among the world’s leading industrial countries, and none of the seven countries are anywhere near the strategies they would need to hit a 1.5°C target for average global warming, according to a Climate Action Network-France report released on the eve of the annual G7 meeting.

Increase in Wildfires Could Turn Boreal Forest from Carbon Sink to Source

Wildfires across northern Canada are “mining” carbon from the soil and turning the boreal forest into a carbon source after millennia of acting as a carbon sink, in a process that could accelerate global climate change, according to a new paper in the journal Nature.

Bold Nebraska, Ponca Tribe Undeterred as State Supreme Court Approves Keystone XL Route

Bold Nebraska, Nebraska landowners, and tribal nations are vowing to carry on their fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, after the state Supreme Court upheld a November, 2017 route approval by the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC).

Jaccard: Scheer Climate Plan Would Put Canada 100 Megatonnes Farther Behind Its Paris Target

Equipped with neither a carbon price nor meaningful regulation, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s proposed climate plan would ultimately find Canada’s emissions 100 megatonnes higher by 2030 than they would be under the Liberal Party’s existing strategy, writes climate and sustainability expert Mark Jaccard.

Whitby, Ontario Pilot Project Turns Plastic to Diesel

New Federal Assessment Rules Exempt Cement Plants, Fracking, In-Situ Tar Sands/Oil Sands

New cement plants, fracking fields, and in-situ tar sands/oil sands projects should not be exempt from review under the federal government’s new Impact Assessment Act, Toronto-based Environmental Defence argues in a letter to the Trudeau government released this week.

Elections Canada’s ‘Overly Broad’ Ruling Suppresses Free Speech: CAN-Rac

Elections Canada must clarify the specific circumstances under which climate change communication would be considered election advertising once the federal election campaign gets under way next month, Climate Action Network-Canada writes, in an open letter to Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perrault released Thursday.

Financial Risk of Climate Change Has Economists, Ratings Agencies Worried

The potentially devastating economic and financial impact of unrestrained climate change has been coming into focus in several recent news stories, with global GDP on track to fall as much as 7.2% by 2100, accountants and ratings agencies taking note, and an economic historian warning the United States Federal Reserve to take action against a risk that could trigger the next global economic crash.

Alberta Fossil Buys Kinder Morgan Canada, Shows Less Interest in Trans Mountain

The Calgary-based pipeliner that bought Kinder Morgan Canada this week says it isn’t keen to make a bid for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, given the “noise” associated with the now taxpayer-owned project.

Coastal GasLink Asks First Nations to Squelch Community Opposition as NEB Rules Against Federal Review

Just two weeks after Canada’s National Energy Board rejected calls for it to review the contested Coastal GasLink shale gas pipeline, a First Nation in northeast British Columbia revealed the company behind the project tried to pressure it to squelch community opposition to the project.

Leach: ‘Cloaked in Mystery, Choked with Irony,’ Scheer Climate Plan Walks Away from Paris Promise

When Conservative leader Andrew Scheer released his long-awaited climate plan last June, it was “so cloaked in mystery and choked with irony” that readers might not have noticed him walking back his previous commitment to a strategy that met Canada’s commitments under the 2015 Climate Agreement, respected Alberta economist Andrew Leach writes in an analysis for CBC News.

Ottawa Funds New Valve that Could Cut Fossils’ Methane Emissions

Quebec’s Power Corporation Buys U.S. Community Solar Developer

Climate Advocacy Won’t Violate Federal Rules During Fall Campaign, Elections Canada Clarifies

Elections Canada had to go out of its way this week to clarify that environmental groups can talk about climate change during the upcoming federal election, and that charities won’t be seen as engaging in partisan activity by doing so, after a weekend news report raised concerns about the restrictions the groups could face once the official campaign period begins in mid-September.

Blockbuster News Investigation Reveals ‘Culture of Silence’ in Fossil Health and Safety Violations

National Observer and Global News are out with a blockbuster investigative report that alleges potentially deadly health and safety problems in the western Canadian oilpatch, driven by a pervasive “culture of silence” in which accident reports are falsified, would-be whistleblowers are at risk of being fired and ostracized, and not a single fossil in Alberta or Saskatchewan has ever been charged or penalized for filing deliberately misleading paperwork.

Trump’s ‘Buy Greenland’ Push Reflects U.S. Interest in Rare Mineral Supplies, Arctic Geopolitics

While Donald Trump’s recent ruminations about “buying Greenland” proved excellent fodder for political satirists, there is realpolitik at work in the White House’s sudden interest in acquiring the mineral-rich, strategically significant “constituent country”, reports the Guardian.

Lac-Mégantic Rail Line Faced ‘Several Urgent’ Issues in May, 2019 Transport Canada Inspection

The rail line that runs through Lac-Mégantic, the Québec community whose downtown was incinerated by a runaway oil train that killed 47 people in 2013, faces “several urgent” issues, according to a May, 2019 inspection report issued by Transport Canada and obtained by CBC.

Climate Change Makes Record-High Great Lakes Water Levels the ‘Evolving Normal’

Climate change is a “deciding factor” in this summer’s record high water levels on the Great Lakes, CTV News reported earlier this month, citing climate adaptation specialist Blair Feltmate of the University of Waterloo.

Falling Short on Climate Target, Edmonton Plans Suite of New Carbon Reduction Programs

Faced with a shortfall between his city’s carbon reduction target and its climate programming, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson is vowing to do better.

Trans Mountain Pipeline Protester’s Donor Appeal Hits High Gear on GoFundMe

A donor appeal for British Columbia poet and university professor Rita Wong, sentenced to 28 days in prison for her part in protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, is trending on the GoFundMe crowdfunding page, with 225 people contributing $16,765 in just three days (as of Tuesday evening).

Trudeau Announces $1.2 Billion for Transit in Quebec City

Royal Bank of Scotland Phases Out Funding for Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Arctic and Antarctic Refuge Drilling

The Royal Bank of Scotland is phasing out financing for tar sands/oil sands exploration and extraction, and limiting its funding for fossil projects in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Alberta Loses 14,300 Jobs in July Despite Corporate Tax Cut, Profitable Fossils

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage is declaring herself “disappointed” that her province lost 14,300 jobs last month, bringing the unemployment rate up to 7%, in spite of healthy second-quarter fossil profits driven up by a 1% corporate tax cut introduced by Savage’s boss, Premier Jason Kenney.

Pipeline Opponent Sees Fossil Subsidies Campaign as Latest Front Against Trans Mountain

A new campaign against the fossil fuel subsidies on which projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion depend is just the latest front in a fight against the pipeline that is far from over, writes Robert Hackett, professor emeritus of communications at Simon Fraser University and co-director of NewsWatch Canada, in an opinion piece for National Observer.

IPCC Land Use Report Draws New Attention to Soil Carbon, Regenerative Agriculture

In the wake of the IPCC land use report earlier this month, with its urgent focus on food supplies, soil conservation, and natural methods of storing carbon, follow-up news stories in the United States and Canada are tracing the steps farmers are already taking to shift their practices.

Arctic Ice Loss May Be a Consequence, Not a Cause, of Conditions Behind Winter Polar Vortex

A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change is suggesting that Arctic sea ice loss may be a consequence of the atmospheric conditions driving colder winters in parts of North America, Europe, and Asia, rather than the cause of a series of cold snaps dating back to the polar vortex of 2013-2014.

Edmonton Increases Solar Rebate to Make Up for Stalled Provincial Program

Nuclear Refurbishments Forced Ontario to Buy New Gas Plants

Koch Brothers Abandon Alberta Tar Sands/Oil Sands

Wichita, Kansas-based conglomerate Koch Industries has sold off its substantial position in the Canadian tar sands/oil sands, selling thousands of hectares of land to Cavalier Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Calgary-based Paramount Resources Ltd., the Financial Post revealed Wednesday.

B.C. Actively Promotes Fracking Boom as New Study Reaffirms Climate Impact

British Columbia is taking heat from two different news outlets for its avid support of natural gas fracking to feed its liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom, just as a new study reasserts the connection between fracking and a continuing increase in climate-busting methane emissions.

Environmental, Indigenous Groups Demand Insurers Withdraw Coverage for Trans Mountain Pipeline

In a series of letters issued late last month, a group of 32 environmental, Indigenous, and citizens’ organizations led by Stand.earth is demanding commitments from more than two dozen major insurance companies to stop underwriting tar sands/oil sands projects, beginning with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Vote Science Campaign Gears Up to Talk Policy with Federal Candidates [Sign-Up]

A coalition of Canadian science groups led by Evidence for Democracy (E4D), the student-run Toronto Science Policy Network, and Montreal’s Science & Policy Exchange will be pressing federal election candidates to support policy decisions that reflect scientific evidence, better explanations for those decisions, and new funding for scientific research.

Pediatricians, Public Health Link Children’s Health Hazards to Climate Crisis

The Canadian Paediatric Society and the Ontario Public Health Association are both out with new warnings about the impacts of climate change on children’s health.

Coastal GasLink Admits Starting Construction Without Archaeological Assessments

Alberta Reviews Prevention, Response in Wake of ‘Massive’ Wildfire Season

B.C. Transit Shifting to Electric Bus Fleet

New York Officials Tour Quebec Cree Territory Before Deciding on New Hydro Project

IPCC Land Report Paints Stark Picture for Food Supplies, Charts Course for Immediate Action

Global food supplies, species and ecosystem diversity, and the health and safety of populations are all in peril without immediate, wide-ranging shifts in land use, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes in a landmark report released in Geneva last week.

Tar Sands/Oil Sands Analysts Predict Implausible Growth as Renewables, EVs Crush Fossils on Price

A stunning new international analysis shows increasingly affordable wind and solar power and electric vehicles crushing oil on price and efficiency—even as Canadian fossil analysts continue to predict future growth for tar sands/oil sands production, and industry boosters tout their “marathon” effort to convince investors to take their product seriously.

‘Stunning’ Poll Results Show Canadian Public ‘Ahead of Our Politics’ on Climate Action

Two-thirds to 84% of Canadians would accept bold measures to address climate change, more than four-fifths see the climate crisis as a serious problem, 47% consider it extremely serious, and one in four “report thinking about climate change often and are getting really anxious about it,” according to a new Abacus Data poll commissioned by Seth Klein, an adjunct professor of urban studies at British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament

Federal Commission’s Scheduling Fail Forces GreenPAC to Shift 100+ Local Environment Debates to October 3

GreenPAC is rescheduling more than 100 local riding debates on the environment to October 3, 2½ weeks before Canada’s federal election, after the Leaders’ Debates Commission summarily scheduled the party leaders’ English-language debate for the date GreenPAC had originally chosen.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/waynenf/3725860708

Greens Unveil Job Transition Plan for Fossil Fuel Work Force

With the federal election campaign about to hit high gear, Green Party leader Elizabeth May was in Vancouver last week to unveil a plan to extend the federal government’s existing job transition plan for coal workers to oil and gas.

Alberta Efficiency Programs Cut GHGs by 5.7 Megatonnes, Save $692 Million Over Two Years

Energy Efficiency Alberta is earning praise at the national level, even as it faces an uncertain future in its home province, after reporting C$692 million in energy savings, $850 million in economic impact, and 5.7 million tonnes of potential greenhouse gas emission reductions over its first two years of operation.

BP Global Data Report Shows Fossil Fuel Use Surging, Renewables Falling Behind

Global fossil fuel use is continuing its rapid increase, and renewable energy development “has not only failed to halt the explosive rise in fossil carbon burning, it’s falling ever-further behind,” National Observer data analyst Barry Saxifrage reported late last month, based on data in the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

Indigenous Coalition Submits Early Bid to Buy Trans Mountain Pipeline

Ottawa Hires Former Enbridge Exec to Advise on TMX-First Nation Partnerships

B.C. First Nation Buys Stake in Run-of-River Hydro Projects

Vrooman: EV Infrastructure, Better Buildings Data Would Unlock Progress Toward Decarbonization

In an exclusive interview with The Energy Mix, Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO of Vancity Credit Union, talked about the next steps the federal government could take down the road toward decarbonization, after getting at the short-term wins that she and Steven Guilbeault of Montreal looked into as co-chairs of the federal Advisory Council on Climate Action.

Ex-U.S. Ambassador Gary Doer Says Social Licence is ‘All Social, No Licence’

The need for major resource projects to receive “social licence” before they proceed sustained attacks from two different sides of the political spectrum at the recent Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Regina, with Manitoba’s former NDP premier Gary Doer and Saskatchewan’s ex-Saskatchewan Party premier Brad Wall agreeing the concept has no place in the project approval process.

Local Naturalist Blames Climate Change, Human Activity for Steep Drop in Alberta Bird Populations

Alberta bird populations have declined dramatically over the last 50 years, and a Calgary naturalist and citizen scientist is blaming a combination of human activity and climate change.

Alberta Village that Shifted from Coal to Oil Now Struggles with Wind

Canadian Fossil Operations Report Lower GHG Intensity in 2018

BREAKING: Greens Would Support Conservative Minority Government that Got Serious About Climate

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May would work with any other party in a minority Parliament with a serious climate plan—and even thinks she could influence Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives to drop their crusade against carbon pricing “if it means the difference for them between governing or spending more time in opposition,” The Canadian Press is reporting today.

Campaign Roundup: Pre-Election Advertising, Carbon Tax Politics, Kenney Makes Trudeau Look Good, and the Prospect of a Coalition Government

With the federal election less than 100 days away, news reports last week focused on the financial action around the upcoming campaign, provinces’ mixed reaction to programs the Trudeau government wants to fund out of carbon tax revenue, the possibility of extreme fossil ideology uniting Canadians behind a more moderate alternative, and the prospects for a Liberal-Green-NDP coalition that would truly be those ideologues’ worst nightmare.

12,000-Litre Hibernia Oil Spill Produces ‘Russian Roulette’ for Ocean Wildlife

As cleanup efforts continue in the wake of last Wednesday’s 12,000-litre spill in the Hibernia oilfield off the Newfoundland coast, questions are being raised about the wisdom of letting fossils self-report on the cause and extent of such incidents, and the effort they put in in response.

Canada’s Approach to Trans Mountain Violates International Law, Washington State’s Lummi Nation Asserts

Canada is violating the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and sidestepping international environmental law in its handling of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and a proposed three-berth marine container terminal south of Vancouver, contends the Lummi Nation in northwest Washington state, in a letter this week to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

New Canadian Association Builds Energy Efficiency’s Profile, Beginning with the Industry Itself

With a national think tank positioning energy efficiency as a kind of “all-of-the-above” strategy to deliver lower home energy bills, boost business productivity, and cut pollution, the industry’s newly-minted trade association is embarking on an initial campaign to help energy efficiency companies and professionals see their own place in the sector.

Yellowknife-Area Wildfire Triples to 900 Hectares

Heiltsuk Nation Shames Nathan E. Stewart Tugboat Owner with Texas Newspaper Ads

Alberta Fossil Spills 320,000 Litres of Crude Oil, ‘Produced’ Water

U.S. Study Endorses Vancouver-Seattle-Portland High-Speed Rail

Canada-Wide Survey Finds Broad Support for Single, National Policy on Climate

Even in the country that is the developed world’s most decentralized federation, and in spite of the tendency in some regions to trust provinces rather than the federal government to set energy policy, a comprehensive survey of Canadians’ attitudes to federalism has detected strong support in almost every province for a single, national climate policy.

Majority of Canadians Support Single-Use Plastic Ban

More than four in five Canadians support or somewhat support a ban on single-use plastics, and most would be willing to pay a little bit extra for more environmentally sustainable products, according to a new survey released this week by Nanos Research.

Pieridae Delays Nova Scotia LNG Decision While Chevron Unveils New Plans in B.C.

Calgary-based Pieridae Energy Inc., the company behind the C$10-billion Goldboro liquefied natural gas (LNG) development in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, has postponed the go/no-go decision on its investment by a year.

COSIA Steps Up Effort to Brand Tar Sands/Oil Sands as Cleantech Innovator

With a new CEO set to take over August 6, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is about to double down on its effort to brand the tar sands/oil sands industry as a clean technology leader.

‘Unprecedented’ Heat Wave Drives Alert, Nunavut Temperature Above Victoria, BC

Quebec Youth Vow Appeal After Judge Rules Against Class Action

Nova Scotia Approves Bay of Fundy Tidal Project

New Brunswick’s Higgs Pushes for National Energy Corridor

First Nations Challenge Trans Mountain in Court While Conservation Group Questions Project Viability

Six British Columbia First Nations have petitioned the Federal Court of Appeal to review Ottawa’s re-approval of the C$9.3-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, with Tsleil-Waututh Nation Chief Leah George-Wilson maintaining last week the Trudeau government was “non-responsive” to concerns communities raised during the last round of court-mandated consultations about the project.

Scheer’s Climate Plan Costs More, Achieves Less Than Current Federal Policies: Clean Prosperity Study

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s recently-announced climate strategy would end up costing more than the current government’s policies and leave Canada farther from achieving its Harper-era carbon reduction targets for 2030, according to a report released last week by Clean Prosperity.

CBC: Climate Action Costs Less, Delivers More Side Benefits Than Estimates Usually Assume

Reversing the climate crisis will cost less and deliver more positive impacts than most estimates usually assume, and that gap in analysis is shaping up as a barrier to climate action, CBC reported last week, as part of its In Your Backyard climate series.

‘Staggering’ Data Dump Shows CSIS Spying on Northern Gateway Pipeline Protesters

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association says a “staggering”, 19-volume trove of previously restricted documents it published last week shows the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) illegally spied on activists and environmentalists opposing the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline.

Prefab Passive Solar Offers Simpler, Faster Construction, Healthier Homes, Lower Emissions

With prefabricated housing gradually gaining ground in North America, Canada is beginning to see a small surge in the number of companies producing prefab, high-performance wall panels for passive solar homes.

University of Calgary Solar Car Wins International Grand Prix

Alberta Consults Fossils on Plan to Loosen Regulations, Lower Taxes

Ontario’s New Environment Commissioner Wins Rave Reviews

Transit Agencies Fail to Report, Take Action on Sexual Violence

Toronto, Hamilton Get Federal Dollars for Apartment Building Retrofits

Summerside, PEI Puts Demand-Side Management Ahead of New Diesel Plant

‘Déjà Vu’ as Six First Nations Take Trans Mountain Approval Back to Court

Ontario Township Aims for Net Zero

BC Hydro Study Probes E-Bus Role in Renewable Grid

Saulteau First Nation Deploys Sheep to Protect Tree Seedlings Without Chemical Sprays

Scheer Vows to Scrap Federal Clean Fuel Standard

Canadian Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is vowing to scrap a key element of the Trudeau Liberals’ climate agenda, its yet-to-be-finalized clean fuel standard, if he forms a government after the federal election this fall.

Environment Leads Latest List of Ballot Box Issues, Places First with 26% of Survey Respondents

Environment is maintaining its standing as a top ballot box issue leading into Canada’s federal election this fall, with 26% of respondents making it their first choice in a new interactive phone survey released over the weekend by Forum Research.

Conservation Groups Appeal Trans Mountain Approval on Behalf of Endangered B.C. Orcas

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is headed back to court, with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Living Oceans Society asking an appeal court to rule that the federal cabinet failed to protect British Columbia’s endangered southern resident orca population when it re-approved the controversial, C$9.3-billion project.

Buildings, Coastlines, Northern Communities Face Worst Climate Impacts

Buildings, coastlines, and Northern communities in Canada face the most serious risks from climate change, according to a new report produced for the federal Treasury Board by the Council of Canadian Academies.

‘Anti-Climate-Deficit Bill’ Would Filter All Federal Policies Through Climate Crisis Lens

The duty to safeguard Canadians against profound fiscal and physical harm now demands that all major policies and actions be viewed through the lens of the climate crisis, investigative reporter Justin Ling writes in a Globe and Mail op ed.

Anti-Carbon Tax Text Messages Don’t Conflict with Elections Canada Rules

Propaganda by automated text message appears to be the favoured modus operandi of a newly-minted lobby group pushing opposition to the federal carbon tax—possibly because Elections Canada guidelines do not currently require the third parties behind such communications to disclose their finances.

Forest Herbicides, Monocultures Drive Wildfires, Harm Wild Species

Forest companies using herbicides and mechanical removal methods to eradicate aspen from the spruce and pine crops they want to harvest are depriving moose of a winter food source and making wildfires more likely in Alberta forests, the Edmonton Journal reports.

Pact for a Green New Deal Holds 150 Town Halls, Reaches 7,000 Canadians in Two Months

wo months after a diverse collection of Indigenous, civil society, environmental, and labour groups launched the Pact for a Green New Deal in Canada, organizers have issued a report summarizing key recommendations submitted to date by thousands of interested citizens.

Hackett: Claims of Low-Carbon ‘Hypocrisy’ Distract from Collective Action, Policy Solutions

It may give the “ethical geniuses” who support fossil fuels a momentary boost to claim hypocrisy when low-carbon advocates drive to protests or fly to meetings. But it does nothing to acknowledge or solve the real challenges on the road to an actual, carbon-free economy, veteran communicator and NewsWatch Canada co-founder Robert Hackett argues in a post for rabble.ca.

Documentary Short Declares Plastic Recycling ‘Like a Band-Aid on Gangrene’

“Recycling is Like a Band-Aid on Gangrene” is the title of Memorial University geographer Max Liboiron’s recent documentary short celebrating her research into microplastics that are poisoning the world’s oceans.

Trudeau Offers Dollars for Montreal Subway Expansion First Proposed in 1979

Ottawa, PEI Earmark $14.5 Million for Climate Adaptation Centre

B.C.’s Carbon Engineering Lands $25-Million Federal Subsidy

Alberta Launches $2.5-Million ‘Show Trial’ Against Tar Sands/Oil Sands Opponents

Albertans will shell out C$2.5 million in hard-earned tax dollars over the next year for Jason Kenney’s provincial inquiry into the supposed “foreign-funded special interests” undermining the province’s tar sands/oil sands industry.

Montreal Boosts Heat Relief for At-Risk Populations While Toronto Cuts Back

Eastern Canada’s two biggest cities have unveiled contrasting approaches as the summer heat wave season looms: while Montreal is making a renewed effort to protect vulnerable populations, Toronto is raising concerns that it is cutting back access to life-saving cooling centres.

Physical, Psychological Stress of Annual Wildfires Has Westerners Moving East

Made physically and psychologically ill by choking smoke from wildfires that grow ever more commonplace as the climate crisis escalates, more and more western Canadians are grimly choosing the painful social and economic costs of relocating over the toxic toll of remaining.

Harrison: Building a Pipeline is Not a Climate Plan

The federal government’s decision to buy out, then re-approve the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion means Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “has made a choice on our behalf, but Canadians should not kid ourselves that building a pipeline is a climate plan,” argues University of British Columbia political scientist and chemical engineer Kathryn Harrison, in a blistering retort to National Observer columnist Sandy Garossino’s recent post on Ottawa’s C$70-billion climate plan.

Fossil-Friendly Canadian Export Agency Cited for Poor Disclosure, Environmental and Human Rights Violations

A federal export credit agency with a history of massively supporting fossil industry exports over clean technology is taking fire for failing to consider the environmental, human rights, and ethical implications of its financial support to Canadian businesses.

Parks Canada Tries to Duck Climate Reality After Warming Threatens Alberta Historic Site

When a near century-old alpine hut high in the Rockies was precipitously threatened by thawing permafrost last August, Parks Canada struggled with just how much to publicly link the event to climate change—a poor decision, say those urging straight talk on the growing crisis.

Alberta Towns, Utility Embrace Solar as ‘the Business of the Future’

Undaunted by a premier avowedly hostile to renewable energy, communities across Alberta are embracing solar electricity as good business, with the small southern town of Raymond determined to be the first in Canada to power itself entirely by the sun.

Ottawa-Area Solar Farm Uses Sheep for Herbicide-Free Weed Control

Two years after a family of Ottawa Valley sheep farmers partnered with French-owned EDF Renewables on a “vegetation abatement” pilot, their herd has grown, they have a significant secondary source of income, and EDF has secured a herbicide-free way to keep over-enthusiastic weeds from overtaking its solar arrays.

Canada Faces December 2020 UNESCO Deadline for Progress on Wood Buffalo Park

Project Reconciliation Promises $6.9-Billion Trans Mountain Bid as Early as Next Week

The Indigenous-led Project Reconciliation is expected to announce a C$6.9-billion bid for majority ownership of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline as early as next week, with the group’s leadership promising a proposal that will “work for all sides”.

Ottawa Finalizes Carbon Price Plan for Large Industrial Emitters

The Trudeau government closed out the spring legislative season last week with the final version of a regulation that sets a carbon price for large emitters, includes a price break for steel and fertilizer companies, and creates incentives for emitters to invest in cleantech companies and support decarbonization projects overseas.

Garossino: Despite Pipeline Approval, $70-Billion Federal Plan is Canada’s Best Shot at Decarbonizing

While the Trudeau government disappointed its climate allies with its much-anticipated decision to re-approve the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, it has also crafted a more complicated record on energy and carbon by committing to C$70 billion in low-carbon investment over a 12-year span, reporter Sandy Garossino writes in a provocative post last week for National Observer.

Seismic Lines for Fossil Exploration Boost Climate-Busting Methane Releases at Least 7%

Climate-busting methane released when fossil explorers cut seismic lines through natural landscapes are enough to drive up Canada’s estimated greenhouse gas emissions from land use by at least 7%, according to a study released last week by a University of Calgary researcher.

Canadian Scientist Urges Colleagues to Back School Strikes

Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Federal Carbon Tax

The Doug Ford government will be looking for a hearing before the Supreme Court of Canada after the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled 4-1 last Friday that the federal government had the constitutional authority to introduce its national carbon pricing plan.

New Analysis Reveals ‘Clean’ Natural Gas as ‘the New Coal’

Methane leaks from liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other parts of the gas production chain are making the supposedly “clean fuel” a climate pollutant on par with coal, with the vast majority of the new development taking place in Canada and the United States, CBC reports.

Michigan Attorney General Sues Enbridge to Shut 66-Year-Old Line 5 Pipeline

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit last Thursday against Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., demanding the company shut down the 66-year-old Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac.

Feds Announce $3.2M in Coal Transition Support for Edmonton-Area Counties

McKenna Announces $223.5M for Caribbean, Latin America to Cut Emissions

B.C.’s Shxwowhamel First Nation Changes Position, Now Opposes Trans Mountain

Manitoba First Nation Plans Utility-Scale Solar Farm

Haisla First Nation Places Economic Hopes in LNG Development

Kuwait Buys In to Canadian Shale Gas Production

Ottawa Announces First Low-Carbon Cities Grant in Toronto

Fragmented Federal Approach Drives Climate Scientists Out of the Field, Evidence for Democracy Warns

More than three-quarters of Canadian climate scientists say their highly qualified colleagues are leaving the field and 94% rely on foreign logistical support to carry out their research, thanks to a fragmented federal approach to research funding, Evidence for Democracy reports in an analysis released this week.

Richmond, B.C. Council Votes to Hold Fossils Accountable for Climate Impacts

B.C. Suddenly Slashes EV Rebate

Quebec Overhauls, Renames $1.3-Billion Green Fund

Alberta Offers Fossils 10-Year Guarantee of Low Royalty Rates

Canada Infrastructure Bank to Support VIA Rail Modernization

Canada Funds Training for Women Climate Leaders in Francophone Africa

Alberta Company Develops Hemp Bricks as Carbon-Neutral Building Material

Morneau Delivers $275 Million in New Subsidies for LNG Canada Megaproject

Finance Minister Bill Morneau was in Kitimat, British Columbia Monday to announce the latest federal subsidy to the C$40-billion LNG Canada megaproject—a $220-million cash infusion to help project developers buy energy-efficient gas turbines, plus another $55 million to replace the city’s Haisla Bridge to accommodate an expected increase in traffic.

Canada, UK, France, Ireland Declared Climate Emergency While Subsidizing Fossil Fuels

A new analysis this week identifies Canada as one of four countries that have declared climate emergencies after collectively spending US$27.5 billion per year on fossil fuel subsidies earlier this decade.

Memories of Harper’s Decade Prompted Guilbeault to Run for Trudeau’s Liberals

The reaction was mixed when the former climate activist nicknamed the “green Jesus of Montreal” announced he would run for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the federal election this fall. But in an interview last week, Équiterre co-founder Steven Guilbeault was clear about why he had jumped into the electoral fray.

Time for ‘We the North’ Fans to Understand ‘Hellish’ Climate Impacts in Canadian Arctic

To truly earn the “We the North” slogan, Canadians everywhere—basketball fans and otherwise—need to understand—and come together to help prevent—the downright “hellish” changes that a warming climate is bringing to the Arctic and all of its inhabitants.

Reducing Climate Damage Claims Depends on Flood Zone Mapping, Public Awareness

Mapping flood zones, raising public awareness, and investing heavily in climate mitigation are necessary pre-conditions for making a proposed “high-risk” insurance pool (rather than the public purse) available to homeowners at risk of overland flooding.

Ottawa Directs $60 Million in Carbon Tax Revenue to Energy-Efficient Schools

More Than 30 B.C. Business Leaders Join Clean Economy Coalition

Calgary Landlords Turn Vacant Fossil Offices Into Apartments

Ottawa Car-Free Week Encourages Officials in Montgomery County, Virginia

BREAKING: Canadian Senate Passes Impact Assessment Act, B.C. Tanker Ban, Arctic Drilling Moratorium

The Canadian Senate adopted Bills C-69 and C-48 last night, along with a lower-profile measure enshrining a moratorium on Arctic oil drilling, clearing the way for the country’s new Impact Assessment Act and a federal ban on large tanker traffic off British Columbia’s environmentally sensitive north coast to become law.

Scheer Climate Plan ‘Like Building a House Without a Hammer’, Mirrors Fossil Industry Campaign Demands

More than a year after he promised it, and after weeks of mounting hype, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer released his party’s climate plan Wednesday, a glossy, 60-page document with no fixed carbon reduction target that he cast as Canada’s best shot at meeting its 2030 goal under the Paris Agreement.

Time for Countries to ‘Step Up Their Game’ on Paris Commitments, 1.5°C Targets

With the urgency of the climate crisis demanding bold and immediate action, this year’s edition of the annual Climate Action Tracker (CAT) report calls out the large majority of governments that are falling short of their carbon reduction commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement, putting them that much farther from policies consistent with a relatively stable climate at 1.5°C average global warming.

Permafrost in Remote Canadian Arctic Thawing 70 Years Earlier Than Predicted

Permafrost in the remotest parts of the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, providing further evidence that the global climate crisis is accelerating and drawing the planet ever closer to dangerous feedback loops.

RCMP Has ‘Army’ of Officers to Protect B.C. Pipeline, No Time to Investigate Murdered Indigenous Woman

Though suddenly possessed of an “army” of officers to thwart peaceful protests against TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia, the region’s RCMP couldn’t muster a single constable last summer to help desperate family members search for 18-year old Jessica Patrick of Lake Babine Nation—and have since demonstrated little inclination to investigate her murder.

Morneau Acknowledges Alberta’s Anxiety, While Whittingham Endorses TMX Approval

Finance Minister Bill Morneau acknowledged Alberta’s anxieties over the post-carbon transition in a breakfast speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Calgary Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the Trudeau government confirmed its re-approval of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Guilbeault Set to Announce Candidacy for Liberal Nomination in Downtown Montreal

Équiterre co-founder Steven Guilbeault was due to make it official today, confirming long-standing reports that he would run for Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party in the federal election this fall.

Northeastern B.C. Drought Forces Fossils to Cut Fracking Water Use

Trans Mountain Pipeline Approval Triggers New Lawsuits, Leaves Fossils Unsatisfied

In a move condemned by critics as the height of cynicism, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several senior cabinet ministers announced re-approval of the C$9.3-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion Tuesday afternoon, not 24 hours after their government pushed a climate emergency resolution through the House of Commons.

Ottawa Could Face Youth Charter Challenge After Approving Trans Mountain Expansion

With its decision yesterday to re-approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Trudeau government could find itself face to face with a constitutional challenge filed by a leading environmental lawyer—on the urging of his 13-year-old daughter, a school climate strike veteran in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

Tories Propose Carbon Tax Repeal After House Passes Climate Emergency Motion

With the votes barely counted on the climate emergency motion adopted by Canada’s House of Commons Monday evening, Conservative MP Ed Fast was scheduled to put forward a measure calling on the Trudeau government to repeal its carbon tax and “replace it with a real environmental plan.”

Bui: Time for a Federal Leaders’ Debate on Climate Crisis [Sign-On]

After seeing the climate crisis crash into the two places she calls home, Vietnam and Ottawa, Our Time Ottawa organizer Vi Bui is pushing for Canada’s Green New Deal and calling for a leaders’ debate on climate during the federal election this fall.

CAN-Rac: Canada’s Next Climate Plan Must Cut Carbon Faster, End Fossil Subsidies

Faster carbon reductions, an end to fossil subsidies, more support for international emission reductions, and a commitment to “leave no community, group, or worker behind” are the cornerstones of the comprehensive, accountable climate plan Canada will need after this year’s federal election, Climate Action Network-Canada (CAN-Rac) asserts in a policy paper released earlier this week.

Ontario NDP Promises Net-Zero Carbon Economy by 2050

Ontario would move toward a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 under an as-yet uncosted plan released by New Democrat leader Andrea Horwath during her party’s annual convention last Saturday in Hamilton.

Resource Development, Climate Impacts, Federal Negligence Bring Wood Buffalo Park Close to Heritage in Danger List

A UN agency is on the verge of placing Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada’s largest, on the World Heritage in Danger List, and urging the country to take far more strenuous measures to protect the territory and its extraordinary biodiversity.

Six Companies Enter the Race for Canada’s First Small Modular Reactor Buy

Alberta Touts Market Access for Natural Gas Industry

No Business Case for Trans Mountain, Ex-Cabinet Minister Warns, as Decision Day Nears

With the Trudeau government widely expected to announce re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion tomorrow, news reports have excitement building in Calgary, and a former Liberal cabinet minister warning there’s no business case for the project.

Canada’s Climate Change Election: An Energy Mix Special Report Launches Today

Climate change and the transition off fossil fuels are emerging as top-tier issues in the federal election coming up this fall. And between now and October 21, The Energy Mix has got you covered.
Today, we’re proud to launch Canada’s Climate Change Election 2019, a special report where we will consolidate the news and opinion that will shape the next four years on the single biggest issue the country faces.

McKenna Promises $50 Carbon Tax Cap After Parliamentary Budget Officer Suggests Higher Charge

A carbon pricing report by Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) Yves Giroux set off a small flurry of pre-election posturing last week, with the Conservative opposition claiming the release was a stalking horse for future tax increases and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna promising to limit the levy to C$50 per tonne after it hits that scheduled threshold in 2022.

Pembina Applauds, Fossils Claim ‘Disrespect’ as House Passes Amended Impact Assessment Act

The Pembina Institute applauded a step forward and the fossil lobby accused a senior federal cabinet minister of being “disrespectful” as the amended Bill C-69, the proposed federal Impact Assessment Act, passed the House of Commons in a party-line vote Thursday evening with its essential features largely intact.

Senate Committee Urges Federal Support for Northern Climate Resilience

The climate resilience of Canada’s Northern communities—many of them Indigenous—is an urgent priority that calls for better financial and technical support from the Trudeau government, the Special Senate Committee on the Arctic concludes in a recent report.

Investigative Report Links Foreign Funding to Pro-Fossil Propaganda Outlet

Urgent alert to Jason Kenney and Vivian Krause! Another “foreign-funded radical” has just been identified, and the unity of our country will hang in the balance until you can direct all your taxpayer-funded investigative might toward…Alberta-based Rebel Media and its self-styled “Rebel Commander”, not-quite-disbarred former lawyer Ezra Levant.

Canada Earns Praise for Global Coal Phaseout, Falls Behind on Renewables Deployment

Canada earned its share of international praise last month in a report that highlighted the country’s leadership in the global coal phaseout, shone a light on its slow uptake of renewable energy, and said nothing about the domestic pipeline battles that will likely dominate the news over the coming week.

Sierra Urges B.C. to Declare Forest and Climate Emergency

Toxic Tailings Don’t Belong in Athabasca River

Feds Fund Four Climate Resilience Projects in Greater Montreal

Oil Prices Fall, Alberta Fossil Stocks Plummet After Short-Lived ‘Kenney Bump’

Less than two months after fossil analysts celebrated a “Kenney bump” with the arrival of a new government in Alberta, the industry is still beset by the same host of economic, political, and regulatory programs it has faced for years—notwithstanding the new premier’s loud promises to make his province’s oilpatch great again.

Forest Product Companies See Opportunity in Canada’s Single-Use Plastic Ban

The federal government’s plan to ban single-use plastic products like straws and cutlery as early as 2021 could put new pressure on carbon storage in Canada’s threatened forests, with the forest products industry just a few years from being able to accommodate the new demand.

Dumping the Pinstripe Cuts Summer Energy Use, Helps Women Office Workers Boost Productivity

“It’s summer: ditch the suit and tie,” may become a directive heard more often by Canadian office workers, as companies reckon with the cost of heating and cooling their work spaces—and with research suggesting that women function more effectively at work when the AC isn’t cranked to keep their pinstriped colleagues cool.

Victoria School Board Poised to Declare Climate Emergency

Liberals to Reject Most Senate Amendments to Impact Assessment Act

The federal government is poised to reject most of the amendments to the proposed new Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, put forward last month by unelected Conservative Senators following a relentless lobbying and public relations effort by the fossil industry.

Alberta Wildfire Specialist Links Fort Mac Megafire, B.C.’s 2017 Fire Season to Climate Change

The 2,117 wildfires that hit British Columbia in 2017 and the massive megafire that consumed much of Fort McMurray, Alberta a year earlier were both connected to climate change, and a similar impact is already visible as this year’s fire season gets under way, University of Alberta wildland fire specialist Mike Flannigan told The Canadian Press earlier this week.

Mothers, Grandmothers in Siberian Coal Region Beg Trudeau for Environmental Refugee Status

Mothers and grandmothers desperate to get their loved ones away from the physically and psychologically toxic effects of trying to live at the epicentre of Siberia’s dismally-regulated coal mining and processing industry have made a heartfelt appeal, direct to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau via YouTube, to be admitted to Canada as environmental refugees.

Inuit Call for Federal Partnership to Address ‘Life and Death’ Climate Impacts

With the Arctic warming at nearly twice the national average rate, Canada’s Inuit are urging the federal government to form a working partnership grounded in the recognition that climate change is a matter of life and death for them—even if it remains an abstraction for many living south of the (melting) ice.

Industry Sees No Impact on Demand, Still Urges Feds to Go Slow on Single-Use Plastics Ban

Within hours of the official announcement that Canada would ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, the plastics industry was simultaneously claiming the initiative would have no impact on demand for petrochemical feedstocks and suggesting there are more effective ways to address plastic pollution than by banning products outright.

‘Foreign-Funded Radicals’? Calgary-Based Enbridge Underwrites Pro-Line 3 Advocacy Group in Minnesota

A pro-pipeline group in Minnesota that presents itself as the voice of public support for the Line 3 pipeline is little more than a mouthpiece for North American pipeliner Enbridge Inc., the company that funds and directs its operations, according to an investigation by DeSmog Blog.

Great Lakes Due for Extreme Highs, Lows as Climate Change Shifts Water Levels

With 2019 precipitation in the region running 150 to 200% or more above normal, water levels in the Great Lakes have risen by as much as 0.3 metres (one foot) from the same time last year, inundating shoreline communities and leaving experts certain of yet another marker of a destabilizing climate.

Opposition Pans New Brunswick Carbon Tax ‘Propaganda’ Stickers

Alberta Courts Wildfires by Leaving Watch Towers Unstaffed

Another Foreign Fossil Departs Canada’s Tar Sands/Oil Sands

Canada’s Biggest Rooftop Solar Array Lights Up Alberta Cannabis Grower

Double-Sided Solar Panels Gain Ground with 1.8-GW Purchase

BREAKING: Ottawa to Ban Single-Use Plastics as Soon as 2021

The Trudeau government is planning to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, as part of a wider plastic pollution strategy set to be released today in coordinated announcements by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, CBC revealed in an exclusive report late Sunday afternoon.

Kenney Unveils Fossil ‘War Room’, Faces Criticism on Carbon Tax Repeal, Wildfire Impacts

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the cost but few details of his much-touted, C$30-million oil and gas “war room” Friday, prompting immediate pushback from the environmental groups he vowed to target during the recently-concluded provincial election campaign.

Keystone Wins Court Appeal, But Further Legal Challenges Await

Opponents of the ever-controversial Keystone XL pipeline are exploring “all available legal avenues” to halt the project, after a U.S. appeal court overturned a judge’s decision to reject its construction permit in Montana last November.

Environment Groups Declare Fossils’ Election Platform a Recipe for ‘Climate Chaos’

National environmental groups declared the fossil industry’s election campaign demands a recipe for “climate chaos” last week, after the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) issued a call for the country’s next government to displace imported oil with Canadian supplies and ramp up fossil production and pipelines.

Women, Younger Voters, and Key Provinces Cite Climate as Top Ballot Box Issue

Climate change continues to place as a top ballot box concern in the months leading up to federal election in October, with nearly six in 10 Canadians saying the issue will influence their vote and women more than men, younger voters more than older ones, and voters in Quebec, the Atlantic, and British Columbia giving higher priority.

Quirky Ontario Electricity Pricing Creates Opportunity for Battery Storage

Battery developers have become the unintended beneficiaries of a strange quirk in Ontario energy policies that has a growing number of commercial and industrial power consumers turning to energy storage to help avoid costly peak power supplies.

Four Canadian Youth Launch Website to Track Parties’ Climate Commitments

Montreal Transport Companies Push Demand for Electric Vehicles

Feds Announce $1.1 Billion for District Energy in Nation’s Capital

Calgary Loses $300 Million in Tax Revenue on Unused Fossil Office Space

Ottawa’s Climate Response Violates the Rights of an Entire Generation, Class Action Argues

Lawyers representing Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse went to court yesterday to make the case for the organization’s class action suit against the Trudeau government’s inadequate response to the climate crisis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parakou_Shipping

Canadian Senate Passes Tanker Ban Bill, Massively Amends Impact Assessment Act

With the clock ticking toward the end of the Parliamentary session in Ottawa, the Senate voted yesterday to pass the Trudeau government’s proposed ban on tanker traffic off British Columbia’s sensitive northern coast, while sending its proposed Impact Assessment Act back to the House of Commons with more than 180 amendments.

Ottawa Announces $15-Million Lifeline After Ontario Cuts Successful Tree Planting Program

The federal government has tossed an emergency lifeline to Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program, committing C$15 million over four years after the Ford government suddenly cut the non-profit initiative in its 2019 budget.

GreenPAC Unveils Plan for 100 Federal Election Debates October 7

GreenPAC marked World Environment Day Wednesday by announcing plans to host near-simultaneous election debates in 100 ridings on October 7, just two weeks before Canadians go to the polls in this year’s next federal election.

Beer: Climate Intensity Has Arrived, and Politicians Ignore It At Their Peril

The age of “climate intensity” is upon us, and politicians who fail to take notice are at risk of being swept aside, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer argues in a post this week for Policy Options.

Push Japan Toward Coal Subsidy Phaseout, Abreu Urges Trudeau Government

With Japan chairing this year’s G20 meetings and its prime minister, Shinzo Abe, trying to position himself as a climate leader, Canada has an opportunity to encourage the country to “power past coal”, Climate Action Network-Canada Executive Director Catherine Abreu writes in a National Observer opinion piece.