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

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Justin Trudeau/Twitter

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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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.

Private Cars in Calgary Exact Heavy Price Tag

Minnesota Appeals Court Rejects Line 3 Pipeline Approval

Fossils were disappointed and Enbridge saw its share price fall 4.7% Monday, after a Minnesota appeals court ruled a state regulator had failed to properly consider the impacts of a Lake Superior oil spill in its approval of the proposed Line 3 pipeline replacement.

Quebec LNG Megaproject Would Boost Emissions by 37 Million Tonnes Per Year

The GNL Quebec liquefied natural gas megaproject would increase life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by more than 37 million tonnes per year, a group of more than 150 Quebec scientists is warning in an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier François Legault.

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

Abandoned Well Cleanup Could Take 2,800 Years, Alberta Regulator Tells Industry

It may take more than 2,800 years to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells across Alberta, National Observer and Star Calgary reveal in an exclusive report this week, after obtaining a September 2018 presentation to a private industry gathering by a senior official with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

MMIWG Inquiry Highlights Connection Between Megaproject Work Camps, Sexual Violence

Natural resource companies and their regulators must factor in the safety and security of Indigenous women and girls at every step in planning and developing a project, Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls concluded this week, in a final report in which five out of 231 recommendations were devoted to the connection between megaproject work camps and sexual violence.

Ontario Climate Plan Costs Taxpayers More Than Federal Carbon Tax

The Ford government’s new climate plan for Ontario will cost taxpayers half again as much as the federal carbon tax, according to a new analysis released yesterday by Canadians for Clean Prosperity.

Study Predicts End of Civilization by 2050 if Global Warming Hits 3.0°C

An alarming new study by Australia’s Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration is pointing to the “high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end” by 2050—with the all-important caveat that that’s the outcome to expect if humanity fails to take action on the climate emergency and get greenhouse gas emissions under control.

Kenney Courageously Strikes Back After Wildfires Defame Alberta’s Oilpatch

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is all set to strike back at the perfidious wildfires besmirching the fossil industry’s good reputation, reports Canada’s satirical online magazine, The Beaverton.

Burnaby Mayor Seeks Trudeau’s Assurance on Tank Farm Safety

Sudbury Declares Climate Emergency

Number of Pikangikum Wildfire Evacuees Grows to 1,300

Alberta Wildfires Shut In 65,000 Barrels Per Day

Hotshot Crews from Oregon, Montana to Assist with Alberta Blazes

Canada Can Hit Paris Targets, ‘Zero Out Carbon’ by Mid-Century, Study Shows

Canada can get its energy system on track to meet its targets under the Paris Agreement and “zero out carbon pollution” by mid-century by adopting a menu of 10 technically feasible options to cut carbon emissions, the David Suzuki Foundation concludes in a report issued last week.

Kenney Kills Carbon Tax, Offers ‘Hopes and Prayers’ as Wildfires Rage

With Alberta Premier Jason Kenney helpfully pointing out that carbon taxes don’t prevent forest fires, multiple communities were under evacuation orders and crews across Alberta, British Columbia, and northern Ontario spent the week fighting the flames as an early fire season hit full stride.

NDP Outlines ‘Canadian New Deal’ While Trudeau Promises to Support Cities’ Climate Action

Pre-election commitments on climate action were in the air last week, with New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh releasing early snapshots if his party’s plan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau making new promises to cities and small businesses.

Inukjuak Trades In Diesel for 7.5-MW Hydro Project

Montreal Plans 187-Kilometre ‘Express’ Bike Network

Toronto Islands Face Distressing Lake Rise, High Winds

B.C. Liberal ‘Climate Candidate’ Downplayed Oil and Gas Health Risks

Indigenous Group Pitches to Buy Trans Mountain Pipeline

Texas Investor Sees New Potential in Canadian Oilpatch

Canada Becomes First Country to Sign ‘Zero Pledge’ for Medium, Heavy Transport Vehicles

Canada became the first country to sign on to the Drive to Zero Pledge, an international effort to boost the number of zero- and low-emission vehicles in medium- and heavy-duty transportation, from box trucks to school buses to 18-wheelers, during the Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver earlier this week.

Vrooman, Guilbeault Urge ZEV Mandate, Support for Deep Energy Retrofits

A federal zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate and stronger support for deep energy retrofits are the main recommendations of the federal Advisory Council on Climate Action, released during the Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver earlier this week.

Coastal First Nations Demand Senate Passage of B.C. Tanker Ban

A coalition of nine First Nations from coastal British Columbia is demanding that unelected senators endorse the Trudeau government’s bill to ban tanker traffic on the province’s northern coast, after the Senate Energy Committee defeated the measure on a tie vote May 15.

Quebec’s Legault Promises 40% Cut in Oil Consumption by 2030

Quebec will invest massively to cut its oil consumption 40% by 2030 and shift transportation, buildings, and businesses to electricity, Premier François Legault announced Sunday, during his party’s general council meeting in Montreal.

EVs Can Save Drivers Thousands, BC Hydro Says

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

Canada Touts Cleantech Venture with Gates as Clean Energy Ministerial Gets Under Way

Ottawa will invest up to C$30 million in a public-private venture with mega-entrepreneurs Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and others to help launch new, low-carbon energy technologies, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi announced Monday, at the opening of the annual Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver.

Greens Want to End Oil Imports by 2030, Break Canada’s ‘Oil Habit’, but Keep Producing Plastics from Bitumen Past 2050

Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May appears to be borrowing a page from Conservative Andrew Scheer’s playbook, with a campaign promise to free the country from oil imports and rely on domestic crude while it still needs to.

Local Fracking Suspended After Earthquake Near Alberta’s Brazeau Reservoir

An earthquake last March near the Brazeau Reservoir, a large dam in east central Alberta, has prompted the province’s energy regulator to restrict oilfield fracking in the surrounding area.

Spill Response Only Recovers 15% of the Oil Lost in an Average Marine Spill

News reports of a recent oil spill recovery drill off the coasts of British Columbia and Washington State are shining a light on an alarming reality: that only about 15% of the oil is recovered after the average marine spill.

Alberta Party Leaders Unanimously Back C-69 Amendments from Unelected Senate Committee

The 187 amendments to Canada’s proposed Impact Assessment Act adopted by the unelected members of the Senate Energy Committee would make the bill acceptable to Alberta, according to a joint letter signed by Premier Jason Kenney, opposition leader Rachel Notley, Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel, and Alberta Liberal leader David Khan.

Energy Efficiency Alberta May Survive UCP Cuts, But Homeowners, Installers Still Face Uncertainty

Alberta’s new United Conservative Party (UCP) government may be stepping away from one of its more rash campaign promises, opting to review each of the 20 programs run by Energy Efficiency Alberta rather than scrapping the entire effort.
But uncertainty over the agency’s future is still leaving homeowners in limbo and could cost the province thousands of jobs.

High Gas Prices, Government Rebates Drive Hot B.C. Market for Electric Vehicles

Sky-high gas prices, together with up to C$10,000 in government rebates, are forecast to give a serious boost to an already healthy electric vehicle market in British Columbia.

Firefighters Scramble to Defend High River

B.C. Asks Supreme Court to Overturn Judges’ Decision Against Trans Mountain Regulation

British Columbia is on its way to a Supreme Court of Canada appeal, after the provincial Court of Appeal ruled unanimously against its right to apply environmental regulations to heavy crude shipped through the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Invasive Earthworms Could Drive Up Carbon Loss from Forest Soils

Invasive earthworms are catching scientists’ attention as the latest threat to the ability of soils in the Canadian boreal forest to sequester carbon.

Firefighters Scramble to Protect High Level, Alberta

Northwest B.C. Bans Campfires Amid Drought, Low Snowpack

Legault Touts Quebec as ‘Battery of North America’

Clean Energy Jobs Growing 60% Faster than National Average, Study Shows

Clean energy employs nearly 300,000 Canadians from coast to coast, and the sector’s job count was growing 60% faster than the Canadian average in 2017, according to a 10-province survey conducted by Navius Research and released today by Clean Energy Canada.

Pre-Election Messaging Rolls Out as Ottawa Confirms Federal Carbon Tax for Alberta

With Ottawa confirming last week that it will impose its backstop price on carbon after the Jason Kenney government moved to eliminate Alberta’s carbon levy, fossil-friendly pundits are working to frame climate and carbon as a winning issue for Conservatives in this fall’s federal election.

Ford’s Anti-Carbon Tax TV Ad Backfires, But Indigenous Budget Cut Hits Home

The Doug Ford government in Ontario faced widespread ridicule last week for an inept anti-carbon tax video that delivered the opposite of its intended message when played on mute.

Alberta Pays Landowners $20 Million Since 2010 to Cover Deadbeat Fossil Leases

New Federal-Provincial Rules Will Allow ‘Inevitable’ Release of Toxic Tar Sands/Oil Sands Tailings

The federal and Alberta governments are planning to allow tar sands/oil sands companies to release 1.3 trillion litres of liquid waste, currently held in 220 square kilometres of tailings ponds across the northeastern part of the province, into the Athabasca River, under new regulations intended to take effect in 2022, the Globe and Mail reports.

Giant News Chain Postmedia Plans to Cash In on Alberta’s Fossil ‘War Room’

Canada’s biggest newspaper chain is hoping to make money by offering content services to the C$30-million fossil “war room” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has vowed to set up, in what one Alberta journalism professor calls a “complete abrogation of the societal mandate that Postmedia should be upholding.”

Wildfire Expert Warns of ‘Nightmare Scenario’ as High Level, Alberta, Bushe River Dene Evacuate

About 4,000 people in and around High Level, Alberta are under an evacuation order as the 60,000-hectare Chuckegg Creek wildfire, one of six burning out of control across the province, approaches from the southwest.

‘Unprecedented’ Interference by Unelected Senators Puts Environmental Reforms in Jeopardy

Politicians and environmental groups are raising the alarm about political interference after unelected Canadian senators voted down one environmental protection bill in committee and adopted hundreds of amendments to a second one, after both had been passed by the elected House of Commons.

Oilpatch Journalist Debunks Krause’s Conspiracy Theories About Anti-Pipeline Campaigners

Part of Jason Kenney’s “pushback strategy” is a C$2.5-million public inquiry into “the foreign source of funds behind the campaign to landlock Alberta energy.” Another is a $30-million-per-year “energy war room” that will “tell the truth assertively,” presumably tweet for tweet. Kenney has said in speeches and press releases that his pushback strategy is based upon VIvian Krause’s work. What if she’s wrong? – An investigative report by Markham Hislop

Montreal Mayor Promises New Climate Action But Critics Call for More

Montreal’s city administration is vowing to get tougher on fossil-fueled heating and fossil company divestment, but its climate plan has already led to the defection of one borough mayor who plans to advocate for faster, deeper carbon cuts as a private citizen.

Three Canadian Cities Make CDP’s Climate Action ‘A List’

Provinces Ask Ottawa for $138 Million to Buy Out Flooded Properties

Medicine Hat Shutters Expensive Solar Thermal Plant

Two Emergency Resolutions, One New Climate Platform as Parties Position for Fall Vote

Three federal political parties in Canada are talking about the climate crisis this week, with the Liberals and New Democrats tabling duelling emergency resolutions in the House of Commons and the Green Party releasing a five-page plan that includes a call to double the country’s 2030 emissions reduction target to 60%.

Canadian Recycling Industry Scrambles After China Begins Refusing Plastic Waste

A year after China declined to continue serving as the world’s recycling bin/rubbish heap, Canadian municipalities are scrambling to figure out what to do with their blue box waste, a task made tougher by consumer habits, ill-judged petrochemical subsidies, and a tenaciously linear economy.

IEA Places Canada’s Gas-Guzzling Vehicles Dead Last in Fuel Efficiency

Canada comes in dead last in the International Energy Agency’s latest ranking of average fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre travelled, University of Calgary economist Blake Shaffer reports in a commentary for Global News.

Bank of Canada Review Declares Climate Risk to Financial System, Wider Economy

The Bank of Canada cites climate change as a risk “to both the economy and the financial system” in its 2019 Financial System Review (FSR), the first in the annual series to examine the climate crisis as a threat to the country’s financial stability.

Federal Tanker Ban Goes to Full Senate After Committee Defeat [Campaign]

The Trudeau government’s ban on oil tanker traffic off the north coast of British Columbia, Bill C-48, was defeated Wednesday evening on a 6-6 vote of the Senate Transportation and Communications Committee. It now goes to the full chamber for further debate.

Albertans Anxious About Future of Solar, Energy Efficiency Rebates

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s plan to cancel his province’s carbon tax has produced anxiety about the future of the solar and energy efficiency rebates introduced by the previous Rachel Notley government.

Nebraska Flooding Points to Spill Risk from Keystone XL

The “bomb cyclone”-driven flooding across the midwestern United States has become the latest in a litany of arguments against construction of the US$8-billion Keystone XL pipeline, with a Nebraska farmer, former oilfield worker, and avowed Republican pointing out that the rising waters could have triggered a spill on his property if the pipeline had been in place.

Climate Shifts Could Undercut Canada’s Iconic Maple Syrup Production

U.S. Regulator Delays Canadian Firm’s Oregon LNG Project by One Year

Singh Discovers New Interest in Climate, Declares Against Oil and Gas Fracking in Wake of B.C. Byelection Loss

A week after the Green Party of Canada won a British Columbia byelection in a seat formerly held by the New Democrats, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is discovering new interest in the climate crisis, declaring himself against oil and gas fracking, and expressing concern about liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from B.C.

Alberta Carbon Tax Repeal Will Have ‘No Bearing’ on Trans Mountain Decision, Trudeau Says

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is on the verge of tabling a bill that will cancel his province’s carbon tax by the end of the month, a move that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says will have “no bearing” on whether the federal government re-approves the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

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

Provinces Shouldn’t Opt Out of Federal Climate Effort, 64% of Canadians Say

By nearly a two-thirds majority, Canadians believe it’s unacceptable for provinces to opt out of national efforts to fight climate change, and oppose governments like Doug Ford’s Ontario Conservatives spending taxpayers’ dollars to propagandize against measures like the federal carbon tax, according to a new Nanos Research poll conducted for the Globe and Mail.

Hero or Villain? International Policy-Watchers Weigh Trudeau’s Climate Record

With many Canadians engaged in a pitched pre-election debate about whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a climate hero or villain (average of all answers: yes), The Tyee’s Geoff Dembicki says he got some surprising answers when he put the question to a collection of global climate experts.

Edmonton Prepares Backup Plan if UCP Cuts Energy Efficiency Funds

Fossils Face Shareholder Pressure as 187 Countries Crack Down on Plastic Waste

A total of 187 countries—but not the United States—agreed Saturday to control the flow of plastic waste across national borders by amending the Basel Convention, an international treaty that regulates global flows of hazardous materials.

B.C. Offers Bigger Energy Efficiency Incentives for Homes, Businesses

U Calgary Researcher Turns GHGs Into Carbon Microfibre

Trudeau: Green Victory in B.C. Shows Canadians ‘Preoccupied About Climate Change’

Green Party candidate Paul Manly’s decisive victory in Monday’s byelection in the B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith shows that Canadians are “preoccupied about climate change,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week.

Forget Kenney: Climate Change is Already Canada’s National Unity Crisis, Columnist Concludes

With Alberta Premier Jason Kenney fulminating about western alienation as a national unity crisis—after working so hard to stoke that alienation on the campaign trail—Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason says Kenney is too late. The unity crisis is already here, and its name is climate change, amped up by the extreme communications of the social media era.

Biologists Say Biodiversity Crisis is Already Happening, Despite Limited Public Attention

In the wake of this week’s UN commission report warning of up to a million plant and animal extinctions in the next couple of decades, biologists in Quebec are raising alarms about species loss that is already happening, while U.S. media focus on the challenge of getting the issue on the agenda.

U.S. Blocks Climate Language in Arctic Council Declaration

The biennial Arctic Council summit failed this week to release a joint statement for the first time since the organization formed in 1996, after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo objected to draft language on climate change, BBC reports.

Canada On Track to Re-Approve Trans Mountain, But Northern Gateway Restart Looks Unlikely

Canada is likely to re-approve the controversial Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, but a resurrection of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline plan is not in the cards, according to two separate news reports this week.

Senators Table Competing Amendments to Bill C-69

After a relentless push by the fossil lobby and others in the natural resource sector, Conservative and Independent members of the Senate Energy Committee are proposing hundreds of changes to Bill C-69, the proposed federal Impact Assessment Act.

IEA Flags ‘Deeply Worrying’ Stagnation in Renewable Energy Growth

The International Energy Agency is raising the alarm over 2018 statistics that show annual growth in renewable energy deployments stagnating for the first time since the turn of the century.

Climate Adaptation Question on Quebec Exam Prompts Student Pushback, Government Response

A climate adaptation question on a high school French exam in Quebec triggered a wave of pushback from students—which in turn received an acknowledgement from the provincial education minister.

Alberta Fossil Nets Another $8-Million Federal Subsidy to Cut Production Emissions

Butts Resurfaces as Consultant on Global Climate Risk

Saskatchewan Issues 10-MW Solar Tender

Climate Emerges as Ballot Box Question as Greens Win British Columbia Byelection

The Green Party’s win in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection in British Columbia signals that climate change and other environmental issues will be at the top of Canadians’ minds during the federal election campaign this fall, victorious candidate Paul Manly said Monday night.

Extinction Threat Calls for ‘Paris Moment for Nature’: McKenna

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna is calling for a “Paris Agreement moment for nature” after an alarming UN commission report found nature declining “at rates unprecedented in human history”, with up to a million species at risk of extinction within decades.

Deadbeat Fossils Withhold Taxes, Lease Payments from Alberta Municipalities and Landowners

Rural municipalities in Alberta are out more than C$81 million in tax revenue from oil and gas companies, and deadbeat fossils are also asking landowners, mostly farmers, to let them skimp on lease payments on the properties their oil and gas rigs occupy, according to a follow-up news report on Trident Exploration’s decision last week to shut down operations and abandon 4,700 gas wells.

Canadian Coalitions’ Election Platforms Call for Faster Action on Climate

With national elections in Canada just 5½ months away, three different coalitions are out with non-partisan campaign platforms aimed at propelling all the federal parties toward faster, more ambitious action on climate change.

Two Profs Quit McGill University Board to Protest ‘End-Run’ Around Fossil Divestment Resolution

Two professors have resigned from the McGill University Board of Governors, in anticipation that the institution will reject its own Senate’s resolution to divest its holdings in fossil fuels.

Bankrupt Alberta Fossil Abandons 4,700 Wells, $329 Million in Clean-Up Costs

A bankrupt Canadian fossil is walking away from 4,700 abandoned natural gas wells and an estimated C$329 million in clean-up costs, according to a report last week by the industry-funded Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

Saskatchewan’s Moe Vows Supreme Court Appeal After Judges Uphold Federal Carbon Tax

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is vowing a Supreme Court appeal after his province’s Court of Appeal ruled Friday that a federal carbon tax imposed on the province is constitutional and falls within Ottawa’s authority.

Kenney’s Big Promises Face Economic Realities, Grassroot Expectations

On his first visit to Ottawa last week as Alberta premier, Jason Kenney rattled sabres about national unity and fossil regulation, briefly stepped back from a campaign promise to abandon his province’s cap on greenhouse gas emissions, and mostly managed to avoid the economic and political realities and grassroot expectations already confronting his new government.

National Bank Looks Outside Canada for Renewable Energy Investments

Canada’s sixth-biggest bank has to look abroad for projects to meet its renewable energy investment targets, its CEO revealed during the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting late last month.

Canada Falls Behind on Climate Risk Reporting, Sustainable Finance

With Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance due to report this spring, and a recent national climate assessment showing the country warming at twice the global rate, two community investment strategists say it’s time to catch up with other jurisdictions in requiring companies to disclose their climate-related investment risk.

Students Take Action on Climate Anxiety as #FridaysforFuture Logs 725 Strikes World-Wide

The latest in the series of #FridaysforFuture school strikes took place May 3, with youth in 725 locations expected to make what one social media videographer called “beautiful trouble” in communities around the world.

The ‘What Were They Thinking’ Moment: How Was St-Marthe Built on a Lake Bed?

In the aftermath of last month’s catastrophic flooding in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le Lac, on the shore of Lake of Two Mountains outside Montreal, some local planners are having a ‘what were they thinking’ moment: How is it that much of the town, which more than doubled in population between 1995 and 2016, was built on a lake bed?

Oilpatch Tour ‘Dispels Myths’, But Victoria Mayor Still Backs Fossil Phaseout

Epic Eastern Canadian Floods Drive Adaptation Discussion as GHG Reductions Lag

With record, devastating flooding in parts of Quebec, New Brunswick, and Ontario, thousands of people evacuated with their homes underwater, 2,000 Canadian Forces troops providing assistance, and everyone from students to inmates volunteering to fill sandbags or lend a hand, experts and commentators are calling for a more serious approach to climate change preparations and adaptation.

But it remains to be seen whether the latest round of climate-fuelled natural disasters will be enough to shift the national debate on greenhouse gas reductions.

Jason Kenney: ‘Emissions Be Damned’

Premier-designate Jason Kenney torqued up his recent Alberta election win by triumphantly arriving at a Calgary Stampede site stage with the help of almost 400 horses corralled under the hood of his eight-cylinder Dodge Ram campaign truck. It was painted Party blue. His UCP crowd went wild, and began chanting “Build that pipe! Build that pipe!” An analysis by Paul McKay.

Energy Efficiency Employs 436,000 Canadians, More Than Twice the Total in Oil and Gas

Canada’s energy efficiency sector accounted for more than twice as many jobs as oil and gas in 2018, with 436,000 permanent positions, and is on track to create about three times as many new positions as fossils are at risk of losing in 2019, according to data released this week by Calgary-based ECO Canada.

Cenovus Shareholders Reject Move to Align Emissions with Paris Targets

Shareholders at Cenovus Energy’s annual meeting in Calgary last week roundly defeated a shareholder resolution that would have required the Alberta tar sands/oil sands producer to align its greenhouse gas emission targets with the Paris Agreement.

TMX-Protesting Grandpa Arrested in B.C., 34 Hours After Climbing Tree

Whittingham Quits Alberta Regulator in Face of Kenney ‘Smear Campaign’

Conservatives, Fossils Plot ‘Growing Collaboration’ to Defeat Liberals in Federal Election

Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is making no apologies after the Globe and Mail revealed that he addressed and his officials took part in a day-long meeting with fossil executives April 11 to coordinate strategy for the upcoming federal election.

Sohi Makes No Promises as Liberals Weigh Delaying Trans Mountain Pipeline Reapproval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says there is no guarantee the federal cabinet will reapprove the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion ahead of the federal election this fall, and a national columnist reports Ottawa is getting serious about holding up the project if incoming Alberta premier Jason Kenney rescinds his province’s promise to cap carbon pollution from the tar sands/oil sands.

Saudi Oil Imports Rise 66% Since 2014, with Irving Oil Refinery Calling the Shots

Canada’s oil imports from Saudi Arabia have been increasing steadily since 2014, producing serious concerns for human rights campaigners and political talking points for the fossil lobby—but the problem traces back to business decisions at the Irving oil refinery in New Brunswick, not to pipeline delays in Alberta or political machinations in Ottawa, according to a CBC News report.

Canada On Track to Hit Paris Target 200 Years Late as NEB Endorses Carbon Tax

Carbon taxes are an efficient way to reduce energy use and related carbon pollution in homes and businesses, fostering greater innovation and adoption of clean energy technologies, Canada’s non-partisan National Energy Board (NEB) concludes in a report issued last week.

Wet’suwet’en Raise Human Rights Violations with UN Special Rapporteur

Hereditary leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation spoke before the special rapporteur for the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York last week, alleging ongoing human rights violations in the name of resource development—most immediately, the construction of TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Ottawa, Toronto, Burlington, and Victoria Step Up with New Action on Climate

Four Canadian cities have stepped up their action on climate change in the last week, with Ottawa and Burlington, Ontario declaring a climate emergency, Toronto considering climate liability action against major fossil polluters, and Victoria endorsing free transit across B.C.’s Capital Regional District.

Town Evacuates Ahead of Possible Dam Failure as West Quebec Floodwaters Surge

With the decommissioned Chute-Bell/Bell Falls hydro dam west of Montreal holding back “millennial” water levels and the downstream town of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge evacuated against a possible breach, authorities are watching and waiting as provincial utility Hydro-Québec predicts a 30% increase in water flow over several days.

Ontario Cancels Plan to Plant 50 Million Trees

Ontario Chamber Opposes Mandatory Gas Pump Stickers

Alaska Governor Seeks Trump Permit for Oil-by-Rail from Alberta

Trudeau Warns of More Climate-Driven Floods, as Researcher Suggests Rethinking Quebec’s Relationship with Water

In the wake of massive spring flooding in Quebec, New Brunswick, and parts of Ontario, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is warning of more of the same in an era of climate disruption, while a researcher in Quebec says it’s time for the province to rethink its relationship with water.

Péloffy: ‘Epic Clash of World Views’ Pits Public Mobilization Against Fossil Lobby

Quebec’s “climate spring” is a cascading grassroot trend that the province’s “powers that be” ignore at their peril, argues Karine Péloffy, legal counsel for the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE), in a recent post for iPolitics.

Climate and Environment Emerge as Top Public Concerns Before Canadian, Australian Elections

With federal elections coming up in Canada in October and in Australia in May, opinion polls are identifying climate change—and in Canada, waste reduction, nature conservation, and Indigenous management—as top-tier issues for voters in two of the world’s most stubborn fossil economies.

Ontario Guts Endangered Species Act with ‘Pay-to-Kill’ Revisions

Doug Ford’s Conservative government in Ontario is taking serious criticism for a plan to allow municipalities and developers to pay a fee in lieu of meeting their responsibilities under the provincial Endangered Species Act.

Report of Excessive CO2 Emissions Leaves Fossil Lobby Speechless

Gyms, Pools, Amenities Drive Up Energy Use in New Condo Buildings

BREAKING: Emissions at Four Alberta Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mines 64% Higher Than Fossils Reported

Carbon pollution from four major tar sands/oil sands mines in northern Alberta is 64% higher than their owners reported using the United Nations’ standard emissions measurement framework, according to a study released this morning in the journal Nature Communications.

News Analyst Hopes for ‘Less Bellicose’ Kenney as Climate Groups Prepare for the Worst [GoFundMe Campaign]

News commentary in the wake of the United Conservative Party’s decisive election win in Alberta last week is skewing in two equal and opposite directions, with some stories pointing toward a more moderate, somewhat middle ground for UCP leader Jason Kenney, while the climate groups he spent much of the campaign vilifying prepare for the worst.

Asadollahi: Kenney Won, But Alberta’s Politics Are Forever Changed

The results of last week’s Alberta elections were disappointing — the incoming government is largely in denial of anthropogenic climate change and has openly declared war against the environmental movement. These Harper-era fear tactics to undermine environmentalists didn’t work then, and will especially prove futile now, against the backdrop of a population that is aware of climate risks, and of the economic opportunities afforded by climate action.

Delay in Federal Subsidy Creates Lull in Canadian EV Sales

When Berries Ripen Earlier, Grizzlies Go Hungry

Kenney Vows to ‘Stand Up’ for Fossil Jobs, ‘Turn Off the Taps’ to B.C.

With about 55% of the popular vote and 63 out of 87 seats in the next Alberta legislature, premier-designate Jason Kenney used his victory speech Tuesday evening to amp up the rhetoric on the perceived mistreatment of his province’s fossil sector and lay down a warning to environmental groups.

Canada Reports Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase for 2017

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased marginally in 2017, from 708 to 716 million tonnes, driven mostly by increased oil and gas production, according to the national inventory the country filed this week with the United Nations climate secretariat.

Ontario Plans Gas Pump ‘Propaganda’ Sticker on Carbon Tax, with Fines if Gas Stations Refuse

The Doug Ford government in Ontario is raising eyebrows with a provision buried deep in its recent budget bill that sets fines of up to C$10,000 per day for gas stations that refuse to display its new propaganda sticker attacking the federal carbon tax.

Loevinsohn: Climate Resilience Matters, But Resistance Begins in the Courts

I was on Vancouver Island this August. The haze that dimmed noon to dusk and that drove air quality off scale—the worst on the planet for a time—was a shock, as it must have been for many. I have been working on and around climate change for a good while, mostly in the global South, but this summer I had it in my face and in my lungs.

Crown Drops Charges Against 14 Unist’ot’en Blockaders

Alberta Builds World’s Biggest CO2 Pipeline

Canada’s Arctic is Warmest in 10,000 Years as Region Faces ‘Unprecedented’ Change

Canada’s Arctic is the hottest it’s been in 10,000 years, and the Arctic as a whole is being transformed into an “unprecedented state”, according to two new studies in the journals Nature Communications and Environmental Research Letters.

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Expect ‘Flood of Litigation’ if Bill C-69 is Watered Down, Athabasca First Nations Warn

Canada will face a “flood of litigation” if the Trudeau government’s proposed Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, is watered down, four First Nations chiefs from the Alberta tar sands/oil sands region warned last week in testimony to a travelling Senate committee.

Analysis: Alberta Misses Out on Grown-Up Conversation About Fossil Transition

With Albertans voting tomorrow in the province’s 30th general election, most of the punditry and virtually every opinion poll reinforce the popular wisdom that rage at a failing fossil economy has made Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party pretty much bulletproof and headed for a massive electoral win.

Ontario Cuts Energy Efficiency, Talks Generalities on Climate in ‘Most Anti-Environment Budget Since Walkerton’

The Doug Ford government in Ontario released a budget last week that allocates job creation incentive funds for clean energy investments but cuts program funding for electricity conservation, even though the province could face electricity shortages as early as 2023.

‘Timid’ Transit Operators Have Canada Missing Out on Electric Bus Conversions

With electric buses on track to replace 270,000 barrels per day of diesel fuel this year, Canada is at risk of “missing the bus” due to transit operators’ timid response to a quickly-growing trend, Clean Energy Canada warned last month, in a release republished by Below2C.

‘Built on Quicksand, Clear as Mud’: Trans Mountain Costs Are Impossible to Track, IEEFA Warns

The financial arrangements behind Canadian taxpayers’ involuntary acquisition of the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline are “built on quicksand and clear as mud”, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis reports this week, in an assessment that urges the Trudeau government to be more transparent about what the project is costing now and how it’ll be paid for in the future.

Energy Storage to Become ‘Key Grid Asset’ with 13-Fold Growth Through 2024

The capacity of energy storage systems around the world is set to increase thirteenfold over six years, from 12 gigawatt-hours of installed capacity in 2018 to an astonishing 158 GWh in 2024, according to a new market assessment by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

Analysis: If Kenney Takes Alberta, Trudeau Finally Gets to Make a Decision

With Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party (UCP) looking virtually certain to win the Alberta provincial election next week, news analysts are beginning to weigh in on the implications for Canadian pipeline politics and climate strategy.

Canada Takes Aim at Range Anxiety with Expanded EV Charging Network

Alert to the allure of the long-distance road trip—and corresponding anxieties around electric vehicle range—Canadian governments, utilities, and automakers are working to support potential EV buyers by installing more public fast-charger stations along busy big-city connectors and more lightly-travelled routes in northern Ontario and on the Prairies.

Canadian Utilities Need 20,500 New Workers by 2022 to Replace Departing Boomers

Canada’s utilities will need at least 20,500 new workers by 2022 to keep power plants and transmission systems in operation, the Electricity Human Resources Council warns in a report issued yesterday.

Canada Rewrites Building Code to Avert $300 Billion in Climate-Driven Losses

Canada’s National Building Code is undergoing a major rewrite in a bid to avert C$300 billion in climate change-driven infrastructure failures over the next decade, according to high-level federal briefing notes reviewed by CBC News.

B.C. Seaplane Company Sets Out to Become World’s First All-Electric Airline

Nanaimo, British Columbia-based Harbour Air is setting out to become the world’s first all-electric airline—not by developing a new fleet for delivery in the mid-2020s, but by taking the 40, mostly single-engine piston and turbine aircraft it already operates and equipping them with electric motors and lithium-ion batteries.

Two New Studies Trace Massive Glacier Loss Linked to Climate Change

North America accounts for more than half of the 369 billion tons of snow and ice the world’s glaciers are losing each year, and the Alps are on track to see two-thirds of their glacier ice melt by 2100, according to two different studies released this week.

15 Groups Receive Federal Dollars to Form Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration

A new Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration on climate change will receive up to C$20 million over five years to “generate, communicate, and mobilize trusted information, policy advice, and best practices for Canadians, governments, and stakeholders,” Environment and Climate Change Canada announced this week.

B.C. Introduces Legislation for 2040 ZEV Mandate

All new cars and light-duty trucks sold in British Columbia by 2040 will have to be zero-emission vehicles under legislation tabled Wednesday by Energy Minister Michelle Mungall.

Atlantic Canada Needs Fast Action on Rising Seas

Freezing Rain, High Winds Leave 275,000 Without Power in Quebec

Alberta Oil Well Cleanup Costs Could Hit $70 Billion

The cost of cleaning up Alberta’s old and unproductive oil wells could max out at C$70 billion, according to a new report by a consortium of landowners and scientists that used data from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to come up with its estimate.

Alberta Officials Took 12 Hours to Notify First Nation of Potentially Toxic Hydrogen Sulphide Leak

When a cloud of toxic chemicals began wafting toward the First Nations hamlet of Fort McKay from Syncrude Canada’s Mildred Lake tar sands/oil sands plant 10 kilometres away, it took officials 12 hours to notify the community—a massive health and safety failure that critics blame on the fossil industry’s takeover of regulatory oversight in the Alberta oilpatch.

Pipeline Opponents File Lawsuit Against Trump’s Latest Keystone XL Permit

Pipeline opponents were back in U.S. federal court last Friday, contending that Donald Trump acted illegally when he issued a new permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in defiance of a previous court order.

20 Elected First Nations Councils Seek Stake in Coastal GasLink Pipeline