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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New Federal Database Shows Location of Every Canadian Wind Turbine

$100M Federal Grant Pays Fossils for R&D They Should Fund Themselves, Climate Hawks Contend

The Trudeau government faced immediate criticism yesterday after re-announcing a four-year, C$100-million budget promise from March 2019 to help the fossil industry commercialize emerging technologies.

Alberta Government Lays Out Welcome Mat for Australian Coal Mining Interests

The Jason Kenney government in Alberta has laid down the red carpet for heavyweight Australian mining interests that want to bring mountaintop removal coal mining to a vast swath of the southern Rockies. And with at-risk ecosystems and their own livelihoods at stake, local farmers and ranchers are fighting back.

Hastings-Simon: Alberta Government Must Wake up to ‘Spectacular’ Drop in Solar Power Costs

Solar’s recent coronation by the International Energy Agency as the “king” of global electricity markets is a literal power shift that bodes ill for Alberta’s oilpatch, says one of the province’s top energy policy experts.

Fossil Investors Bail as Pandemic and Oil Politics Hold Prices Down, Renewables Stocks Surge

In Canada and around the world, a growing number of investors are rushing for the exits in their haste to abandon a crashing fossil fuel industry.

Global Hydrogen Race Will Be Only Won by Cleanest Producers, Smith and Petrevan Predict

As Canada moves to stake its claim in the burgeoning hydrogen fuel market—a claim that includes Alberta’s recent bet on “blue hydrogen”—policy experts are warning that it will be only the cleanest hydrogen that takes the prize in a zero-carbon world.

Ottawa City Plan Sets Sights on Zero Emissions, 4.4 GW of New Renewables by 2050

The City of Ottawa has released a long-awaited energy transition plan that has it eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions, phasing out all fossil fuel use, shifting all heating and transportation to electricity or other zero-emission options, and adding 4.4 gigawatts of new solar and wind capacity by 2050.

IEEFA Foresees ‘Stranded Assets, Depleted Finance’ in British Columbia’s LNG Strategy

The Conference Board of Canada stands accused of “doubling down on a bad hand” after the Cleveland-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) reviewed its latest assessment of British Columbia’s prospects for a successful liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom.

Vancouver Fossil’s Oil Drilling Plan Alarms Local Environmentalists in Southern Africa

A fossil company based in British Columbia is raising alarms with environmentalists in southern Africa with plans to touch off an oil boom in Kavango Basin, in the Kalahari region of Namibia and Botswana.

Federal Committee Excludes Big Buildings from Key Airtightness Standard

Ikea Canada Offers Buyback Day as Alternative to Black Friday Shopping Sprees

Canada Signs On to Nuclear Fusion Project After 15-Year Absence

All-Canadian EV Designers Aim to ‘Avenge the Avro Arrow’

BREAKING: First Nations Fear ‘Losing Everything’ as Communities Face ‘Climate Exacerbated Food Poverty’

Indigenous people who live off the land are increasingly at risk of food insecurity and the health problems it causes thanks to federal policies that ignore the impacts of climate change on traditional foods, concludes an 18-month study released this morning.

Wilkinson Interested in Carbon Border Adjustment as Analysts Scan Biden Trade Policies

The Trudeau government is expressing warmer interest in carbon border adjustments (CBAs) as a way to control industrial greenhouse gas emissions without putting Canadian companies at a competitive disadvantage internationally, just as the European Union and the United States begin serious musings about taking similar steps, the Globe and Mail reports this week.

Federal Nuclear Funding Announcement a ‘Dirty, Dangerous Distraction’, 30 Groups Warn

A collection of 30 local, regional, and national public interest organizations from across the country is rallying against next-generation nuclear power development after the federal government announced a C$20-million infusion for the industry tied to its 2050 net-zero emissions target.

Op-ed: Alberta’s Managed Coal Power Plummet a Climate ‘Success Story’

Alberta’s turn away from coal has been a “climate action success story” thanks to key policies—many unpopular—set by former premier Rachel Notley, according to a recent essay written by two Alberta economists.

Labrador-Quebec Caribou Herd Shows First Population Increase in 25 Years

Tim Hortons Says It’s Eliminating 300 Million Plastic Straws in Shift to Paper

Ontario Set for New Conservation/Demand Management Framework in 2021

Whitby Adopts New Green Growth Standard

Comox, B.C. Gets First Home Built to Passive House Standard

New Fossil Investment in Alberta Depends on Environmental Action, Kenney Proclaims

In what CBC is calling “a major shift in tone for the Alberta premier”, Jason Kenney is saying Alberta fossils’ access to new project investment will depend on environmental action from industry and government.

Building Retrofits, Clean Transportation Lead Green Budget Coalition’s 2020 Recommendations

The Green Budget Coalition is calling on the Trudeau government to include C$10 billion for building energy retrofits, $4.8 billion for clean transportation, $4.8 billion for protected areas, and $2.6 billion for nature-based climate solutions in its 2020 budget.

Horgan Takes Fire for Boosting Fossil Subsidies as B.C. Election Nears [Sign-On]

With British Columbia five days away from a provincial election October 24, and mail-in voting already well under way, Premier John Horgan’s New Democrats are taking fire for doubling down on the subsidies the previous Liberal government had extended to the province’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

Physicians Urge B.C. to Shift from Gas to Electric Appliances

Canada’s Building Codes Fall Short of Net Zero-Ready Goal

Toronto’s Brookfield Asset Management Opens Bids on $1.4B Australian Coal Port

Caisse de Dépot Buys Into Solar Installation in Spain

Edmonton Utility Pushes Solar Project Over First Nations’, Green Groups’ Objections

Solar the ‘New King of Electricity’, Trans Mountain at Risk as IEA Analysis Sinks In

An acknowledgement that solar now delivers the “cheapest electricity in history” and a new source of uncertainty for Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion are two of the takeaways emerging from the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2020—amid criticism that the release still falls short of the analysis that would guide governments and investors to a 1.5°C future.

IEA’s ‘Gold Standard’ Energy Modelling Still Gives Short Shrift to 1.5°C Pathways, Trout Says

Kelly Trout is a senior research analyst with Oil Change International. In this feature interview, she talks about the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook (WEO), the agency’s long-standing allegiance to the fossil fuel industries, and what it would take for the IEA to really deliver “gold standard” energy modelling in an era of climate emergency.

Why Canada Needs a Royal Commission on What the Hell Do We Do Now

Let’s face it Canada, as things go in this troubled world, we’re not doing badly. But that’s exactly when we need to take a breath and consider all the things either going wrong outside our borders, challenging us beyond today at home, or just upending all our old expectations from, oh, let’s say, January. An opinion piece by veteran journalist and former Energy Mix co-curator Chris Wood.

P&G Shareholders Vote Overwhelmingly for Action on Deforestation, Climate Impacts

Boreal forest campaigners at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) were taking a victory lap this week, after Procter & Gamble shareholders voted overwhelmingly for the U.S. consumer products giant to eliminate deforestation and intact forest degradation from its supply chain.

Tinder-Dry Canadian Peatlands Becoming a Ticking Carbon Bomb

Recent work by Canadian ecohydrologists on the devastating 2018 peatland fire near Parry Sound, Ontario has confirmed related findings from around the globe: the Earth’s peatlands are drying out as temperatures rise, creating carbon-bomb tinder boxes.

Globe and Mail, Guardian Step Up with Climate Journalism Commitments

A year after The Guardian pledged to become a global leader in reporting on the climate crisis—from causes to consequences to solutions—the UK-based paper says it has made good on its commitment to push for “genuine systemic change.” In Toronto, meanwhile, the Globe and Mail is also stepping up its climate coverage.

Plastic Bag Ban Could Produce Unintended Environmental Consequences

Keystone XL Brings ‘Mini-Boom’ to Oyen, Alberta

Alberta Will Make Good on $1.5 Billion in Green Line LRT Funding

Nunavut Hamlet Gets Approval for Solar Array to Run Community Freezer

NS Plans Climate Resilience Review for Public Housing Units

Small, Mid-Sized Fossils May Face Cash Crunch as Bankers Get Jittery

November may be emerging as a crunch month for Canada’s small and mid-sized fossil producers, as banks go through a semi-annual review of whether their borrowers’ financial health and future prospects justify the level of operating loans they depend on—particularly with a second wave of the pandemic gaining momentum.

Canada’s First Net-Zero Church and Social Housing Complex

This community story was originally posted in text and video by Charged Up, a David Suzuki Foundation program on empowering communities across Canada with renewable energy.

Canada Would Need Minimum $117 Carbon Price without Other Emission Reduction Programs: PBO

Trans Mountain Work Force Hits 5,600 as Campaigners Question Construction Schedule

VW Canada Plans All-Electric SUV for Mid-2021

Walmart Canada Triples Order for Tesla Electric Semis

Survey Shows Canadians Wasting Less Food During Pandemic

Leaked 2018 Strategy Proposed ‘Broader Than Oil’ Coalition to Undercut Ottawa’s Clean Fuel Standard

A top communications and government relations firm led by long-time Conservative Party strategist Jaime Watt developed a confidential plan to undercut support for the federal Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) by convincing Canadians that “fighting climate change is a losing battle,” according to leaked documents released this week by Greenpeace Canada.

Canada’s Plastics Reduction Plan Earns Praise, Criticism

The Canadian government’s declared intent to ban certain single-use plastics and start leading on recycled content standards and extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs has met with backlash, praise, and demands that more be done.

Federal, Ontario Governments Announce $590 Million for Ford’s Oakville EV Plant

The federal and Ontario governments will each invest C$295 million to help Ford Motor Co. retool its assembly plant in Oakville to make electric vehicles.

Job Losses Hit Newfoundland as Three Fossils Announce Shutdowns

Newfoundland and Labrador is reeling from a series of fossil job losses this week, with three different companies all announcing definite or likely cuts.

Analysis: Alberta Natural Gas Plan Has Kenney Venturing Boldly Backwards

The Jason Kenney government in Alberta is pitching hydrogen, plastics recycling, and even geothermal energy as elements of an economic diversification strategy that leans heavily on natural gas to create tens of thousands of jobs and reboot the province’s sagging economy.

University of Calgary Sees Plummeting Enrolment for Oil and Gas Sciences

University of Calgary undergrads are fleeing en masse from oil and gas-friendly majors as job security in the industry plummets. And renewable energy studies are picking up the slack.

Pieridae Signs Up Engineering Firm for Goldboro LNG Export Project

Clean Energy Canada Lays Out Arguments for ZEV Mandate

Burnaby, B.C.-Based Ballard Power Announces Hydrogen Partnership with Audi

Ottawa Funds Five Green Energy Projects in Yukon

Toronto Firm Touts Design for 105-Storey, Net-Zero Hybrid Mass Timber Building

Innu Nation Files $4-Billion Compensation Claim for Churchill Falls Hydropower Project

The Innu Nation of Labrador has filed a C$4-billion court claim against Hydro-Québec and Churchill Falls Corporation, saying their culture and way of life have been devastated by construction of the 5,428-megawatt Churchill Falls hydropower project beginning in 1967.

No-Strings Federal Bailout for Newfoundland Fossils Followed Rushed, Incomplete Impact Assessment

Three leading environmental organizations are criticizing Ottawa’s decision to hand over C$320 million to the offshore oil sector in Newfoundland and Labrador, after a federal science review found fault with a new regulation that permits new exploratory drilling projects without further environmental assessment or public input.

Ontario’s Gain from Low-Carbon Energy Could Drive a Wedge Between Ford, Kenney

The economic advantages of renewable energy, accentuated by new federal incentives for low-carbon investment, may be driving a wedge between kindred conservative governments in Ontario and Alberta.

TD Bank Subsidiary Launches Canada’s Biggest Grid Storage Project in Alberta

A Toronto-Dominion Bank subsidiary is planning a 60-megawatt battery storage project, Canada’s biggest to date, using arrays of Tesla batteries to store electricity and help balance and stabilize the Alberta power grid as it adds more renewable power.

Deloitte Withdraws Study Suggesting Economic Benefits from ‘Fastest Warming Scenarios’

Global management consulting giant Deloitte has withdrawn a ludicrous report that concluded extreme climate change would deliver GDP gains to one-third of the world’s economies through the end of this century.

Permanent Bloor-Danforth Bike Lanes Would Prevent Injuries, Deaths

Irving Declares Permanent Closure of Come By Chance Refinery

Canada Infrastructure Bank to Name New CEO

Ontario Phases Out Time-of-Day Electricity Rates

First Geothermal Test Well Exceeds Expectations in Saskatchewan

EXCLUSIVE: Royal Bank’s ‘Baby Step’ on Fossil Divestment the ‘Least They Could Do’, Climate Analysts Say

The Royal Bank of Canada’s announcement late last week that it will restrict investments in some fossil fuel projects was a “baby step” and just the first of many it will have to take to “move into a zero-carbon future,” two veteran climate analysts told The Energy Mix yesterday.

Throne Speech Quietly Declares Support for Nuclear Reactor Development, New Brunswick Opponent Warns

You would have missed it if you blinked (we did, too), but anti-nuclear advocates say the federal Speech from the Throne two weeks ago contained a clear signal of support for an industry with a “legacy of toxic radioactive waste” now trying to associate itself with Canada’s net-zero emissions target.

Prominent Canadians Demand Immediate Construction Halt at Site C

Wet’suwet’en Petition for Judicial Review of Coastal GasLink Certificate

Ontario Won’t Appeal Court Ruling Against Anti-Carbon Tax Propaganda Stickers

Regenerated Forests Aren’t Growing Back Well, B.C. Regulator Warns

Muskrat Falls Blames Pandemic, Software Glitches for $435-Million Cost Increase

Infrastructure Bank to Pour $6 Billion into Clean Grid, Building Retrofits, Zero-Emission Buses

Climate and energy analysts are mostly praising a new two- to three-year, C$10-billion “growth plan” that includes $2.5 billion for clean power and storage, $2 billion for building energy retrofits, $2 billion to extend broadband access to underserved communities, $1.5 billion for zero-emission buses, and $1.5 billion for agriculture infrastructure, unveiled yesterday by the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Canada Signs G20 Energy Statement that Endorses Fossil Bailouts, Never Says the Word ‘Climate’

Canada has signed on to a G20 energy communiqué led by Saudi Arabia that endorses fossil industry bailouts, contains not a single use of the word “climate”, makes no reference to the G20’s now 11-year-old promise to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies, and endorses the host country’s perverse definition of a “circular carbon economy” that is long on unproven carbon capture technologies and short on meaningful commitments to actual decarbonization.

Fossils Announce Flurry of Job Cuts as Low Demand Continues

The last few days have brought a flurry of job reductions across a slumping fossil industry, with Royal Dutch Shell, TC Energy, and oil refiner Marathon Petroleum all announcing layoffs.

Ottawa Inches Closer to a Decision on Toronto-Quebec City Rail Overhaul

The federal government may be closing in on a decision on whether to overhaul the much-maligned passenger rail lines in the corridor between Toronto and Quebec City.

TC Energy Signs Memo Pointing Toward Indigenous Share in Keystone XL

Quebec Cabinet Minister Touts LNG Project While Environmental Review Still Pending

Desjardins Buys into U.S. Renewables Assets

Climate Strikers Accuse CPC Leader O’Toole of Grabbing Their ‘Take Back Canada’ Slogan

Muskrat Falls Hydro Completes First Link to Labrador Grid

‘Canadians Don’t Want This’: Fracking Company Owned by Canada Pension Plan Spent $600,000 to Influence Colorado State Elections

A company 95% owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Crestone Peak Resources, spent more than US$607,250 to shape the results of state elections in Colorado in 2018, supporting “pro-business” candidates and political action committees bent on blocking tougher regulation of controversial oil and gas fracking operations in the state.

Financing Canadian Carbon Reduction Target is ‘Very Doable’, ‘Eminently Achievable’, Researchers Conclude

A new report released yesterday by Queen’s University’s Institute for Sustainable Finance concludes that meeting Canada’s Harper-era greenhouse gas reduction targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement would cost just a fraction of a percent of GDP—though the Trudeau government would still have to boost its climate investments, and the analysis relies on carbon capture technologies that are far from being proven or cost-effective.

adam scott Shift:Action

In Conversation: Canadian Pension Managers Must Divest Fossil Fuels, Catch Up with the Shift Off Carbon, Scott Says

Adam Scott is director of Shift:Action, an organization that engages with Canadian pension funds on climate accountability and risk. In this interview, he talks about the ideologies that still drive fossil fuel investment, the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board’s adventures in Colorado, and what it takes to make pensions a fascinating topic.

Anger, Hope Can Both Help Defeat Climate Despair

A Canadian environmental scholar is calling for a rejection of despair in a new book about climate optimism. The feelings of hopelessness that can overwhelm people when they think about the climate emergency pose “one of the biggest threats to solving the crisis facing our planet,” says Hope Matters author Erin Kelsey.

Ford Workers Ratify Deal that Brings EV Manufacturing to Oakville

Climate, Indigenous Campaigners ‘More Powerful Together’

Uber Canada Says Drivers Shouldn’t Bear Burden of EV Shift

Ottawa Postpones Building Code Updates to December 2021

Yukon Green Plan Includes EV Rebates

Controversial Carbon Removal Technique Could Drive Up Food Prices

Jonathan WIlkinson

Wilkinson Promises Five-Year Emissions Targets While O’Regan Announces $320 Million for Newfoundland Fossil Industry

Within hours of each other Friday, Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson vowed that a series of five-year emissions targets through 2050 will be his top legislative priority this fall, while Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan unveiled a C$320-million cash infusion for the struggling fossil industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Humanity Faces a ‘Climate Reckoning’, Trudeau Says, as 60 World Leaders Sign Climate-Biodiversity Pledge

The world faces a “climate reckoning”, and countries must create a more equitable international system that can confront 21st century challenges, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the United Nations General Assembly in a recorded address Friday.

Ottawa Needs Wide-Ranging Programs to Match Big-Picture Throne Speech, Torrie Says

Ralph Torrie is a senior associate with the Sustainability Solutions Group, partner in Torrie Smith Associates, and one of Canada’s leading energy and carbon modellers. He helped design and lead a series of green recovery webinars and publications that laid some of the groundwork for last week’s Throne Speech. In this interview, he talks about what the speech got right, the tough path to 1.5°C, and what’s still needed to get Canada’s transition off carbon on track.

Youth Around the World Demand Action During Friday’s Global Climate Strike

From Vienna to Seoul, Pretoria to Warsaw, Saskatoon to Hong Kong, youth climate activists—masked and social distancing—returned to the streets last week for a Global Climate Strike calling for a green and just recovery.

Canadian Youth Climate Lawsuit to Begin Hearings This Week

Even as it declares that its recovery plans are rooted in climate action, the Canadian government is working hard to dismiss a climate injury suit launched a year ago by 15 Canadian youth activists, including a teenager from Haida Gwaii who is witnessing the devastation of rising seas first hand.

World Nuclear Industry Loses Ground to Cheap Renewables as Canada Considers Small Modular Reactors

The world nuclear industry “continues to be in stasis,” with power plants shutting down at a faster rate in western Europe and the United States, the number of operating reactor units at a 30-year low, and the few new construction projects running into “catastrophic cost overruns and schedule slippages,” according to the latest edition of the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR), released last week.

Trudeau Promised Thunberg Two Billion Trees. None Have Been Planted.

Climate Scientist, Ex-Green Leader Weaver Endorses B.C. NDP

Glacier Loss Could Jeopardize Alberta Water Supplies

Canada’s Green Recovery Will Depend on Rail

Here’s What a Canadian Solar Incentive Could Look Like

Crashing Demand, Kenney’s ‘Denial’ Put Alberta at Risk as Energy Transition Accelerates

The Alberta government’s inability to begin charting a shift off fossil fuels can only leave the province at risk of further economic mayhem, according to two news analyses published in the week leading up to a federal Throne Speech that largely cemented Ottawa’s embrace of a low-carbon transition.

The Interview: After a ‘Bold’ Throne Speech, the Details Come Next, St-Pierre Says

Éric St-Pierre is Executive Director of the Trottier Family Foundation in Montreal. He recently coordinated an opinion piece from a dozen Canadian philanthropic foundations that set expectations for the Throne Speech and a green recovery. In this interview, he talks about the highlights and gaps in the speech, the next steps for the government, and the hard work ahead for the climate community.

Beware ‘Climate Delay’ Tactics Meant to Undermine Effective Action, Hastings-Simon Warns

Climate change denial is dangerous, but just as harmful are “climate delay” strategies that merely pretend to address the climate crisis. And learning to recognize the difference between real action and climate delay tactics is critical for both the public and policy-makers, warns a veteran Canadian climate policy analyst.

Canada Sets Sights on Supplying Strategic Metals for EVs

With the European Union committing to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 55% by 2030, Canada may have an opportunity to export strategic metals like nickel and cobalt that are essential parts of the supply chain for electric vehicles, sustainability author Chris Turner wrote last week for Corporate Knights.

Wacky Weather Pushes Insured Claims to Nearly $2 Billion in Alberta

One Jasper Caribou Herd Extinct, Two Others on the Brink

Toronto Community Housing Picks Passive Solar for Latest Project

Canada Sends 300 Firefighters to Assist in Washington, Oregon

Beware ‘Climate Delay’ Tactics Meant to Undermine Effective Action, Hastings-Simon Warns

Climate change denial is dangerous, but just as harmful are “climate delay” strategies that merely pretend to address the climate crisis. And learning to recognize the difference between real action and climate delay tactics is critical for both the public and policy-makers, warns a veteran Canadian climate policy analyst.

BREAKING: New Assessment Declares Canada’s Climate Plan ‘Insufficient’ as Throne Speech Day Dawns

With the Trudeau government just hours away from tabling its long-awaited Speech from the Throne, the international Climate Action Tracker is branding the country’s carbon reduction efforts “insufficient” and consistent with a 3.0°C world, with “little support” for green recovery measures to date.

Wilkinson Says COVID Won’t Hijack Canada’s Green Agenda as Climate Community Demands Commitments, O’Regan Touts Nuclear

On the eve of this afternoon’s Speech from the Throne, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is declaring that the pandemic won’t hijack Canada’s green agenda, adding that “if left unaddressed, climate change will have more of an impact on Canadians than COVID-19,” CTV News reports.

Basic Income, Just Transition Depend on Each Other, Regehr Says

Sheila Regehr has been chair of the Basic Income Canada Network since 2014. She’s a retired federal public servant with years of experience working on income security, and past executive director of the National Council of Welfare. With the federal Speech from the Throne coming up today, she explains how a basic income builds up communities, reduces anxiety, and makes a whole host of problems easier to solve—including the climate crisis.

Ford, Unifor Reach Tentative Deal to Build Five Electric Vehicle Models in Oakville

Ford Motor Company of Canada and Unifor have signed a tentative collective agreement that commits the company to a C$1.8-billion investment to build five electric vehicle models in Oakville, Ontario.

Supreme Court Hears Carbon Pricing Appeals in ‘Make-or-Break’ Case

The Supreme Court of Canada is in the midst of a high-stakes, two-day hearing on whether the federal government’s floor price on carbon is constitutional.

Alberta Surges, Ontario Fades as Canada’s Leading Jurisdiction for Wind, Solar

Alberta is set to surpass Ontario as Canada’s leading jurisdiction for utility-scale wind and solar, with 83% of the country’s new installations over the next five years, according to a new analysis by Oslo-based Rystad Energy.

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

Shell to Cut Oil and Gas Production Investment 30-40%, Fight Other Fossils for Renewables Market Share

Colossal fossil Royal Dutch Shell is planning to cut its oil and gas production costs 30 to 40% and focus more of its efforts on renewable energy, Reuters reports, hoping to fight competitors like BP and Total for market share “as economies around the world go green”.

TC Energy CEO Girling Announces Retirement with Keystone XL Left Hanging

Suncor Shares Lose Value as Production Stalls

On-Demand Transit Aims to Win Hearts in Canadian Cities

Ottawa Announces $4.5M for Sherbrooke Bioenergy Firm

Key Boreal Forest Species Face Worse Predation Due to Climate Change

‘No Return to Normal’: Smoke-Choked B.C. Cities Must Prepare for Worse to Come

British Columbians are being warned that this summer’s grim immersion in wildfire smoke is no anomaly, but instead a grim foreshadowing of the future in a destabilized climate that gathers ever more potential to devastate both the quality and the length of their lives.

Pre-Throne Speech Commentary Stresses Climate Impacts, Green Recovery

With the wait for the federal Speech from the Throne winding down to the last couple of days, news analysts are pointing to air quality issues in the west and the need for a clean economy industrial strategy as evidence that now is the time for the Trudeau government to embrace a green recovery.

‘Extreme Carbon Inequality’ Has Wealthiest Driving Climate Crisis: Oxfam Report

The richest 10% of the world’s population accounted for more than half of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2015, and the richest 1% in Canada emitted more than 100 times as much per capita as the poorest 50% world-wide, Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute conclude, in a report to be launched during a Climate Week NYC webinar Friday morning.

New Yukon Climate Plan Benefits Mines, Limits Emission Reductions

The Yukon government’s new climate plan has been seriously weakened by its decision to create tiered emissions targets for its mining industry, rather demanding the sector rein in its emissions directly, say local environmental advocates.

Nine Countries, 15 U.S. States Join Forces on Zero-Emission Commercial Vehicles

Canada, eight other countries, and 15 U.S. states will work together to expand zero-emission commercial vehicle manufacturing, infrastructure, and deployment, following an announcement brokered by Calstart, a U.S. clean transportation non-profit.

Snoozing EV Driver Caught Speeding, Angers Alberta Tesla Community

A Tesla driver’s recent asleep-at-the-wheel stint on autopilot on a highway south of Edmonton has left road patrols gobsmacked and Tesla devotees fuming at a behaviour they say maligns an otherwise safety-conscious crowd.

Regina Researchers Urge City to Focus on Equity in Climate Planning

When you think of Regina, you might imagine a city that depends heavily on cars. But when University of Regina professor Emily Eaton gathered a focus group representing community-based organizations throughout the city to discuss how a transition to net-zero carbon emissions might affect communities that have experienced marginalization, she heard another story.

Trans Mountain Threatens 67 Indigenous Historic Sites Near Kamloops

Religious Charity Becomes Ontario’s Biggest Passive Solar Developer

Ottawa Puts $3 Million into Energy-Efficient Building Projects in Alberta

Alberta Community Felt Duped by Wind Developer’s Sales Tactics

Energy Retrofits, Green Grids, ZEVs Lead Recommendations from Resilient Recovery Task Force

A $27-billion energy retrofit program, stepped-up investment in green electricity, and building an “industrial ecosystem” for zero-emission vehicles are lead elements of a five-year, $55.4-billion green investment program released Wednesday by the 15-member Task Force for a Resilient Recovery.

Critics Demand Financial Review of Trans Mountain Pipeline, Claim Victory Slowing Down Construction

A list of more than 100 Canadian economists and resource policy specialists that includes a former CEO of BC Hydro and Ontario Hydro is urging the federal government to reassess the viability of the Trans Mountain expansion project in light of rising project costs and plummeting oil demand, while a group of campaigners in British Columbia takes a victory lap for slowing down construction of the controversial pipeline.

Countries Miss All 20 Targets Under UN Biodiversity Convention

A decade after adopting a set of biodiversity restoration goals under a United Nations treaty, countries have missed every single milestone in the effort to protect the world’s genetic diversity, food supply, health, and security, according to a report released by the UN this week.

Pension Plan’s Fossil Investments Undercut Canada’s Climate Commitments, Report Concludes

The Canada Pension Plan’s “substantial private equity investments” in the fossil industry over the last few years have undercut the country’s climate commitments and “underestimate the urgent need for climate action and energy transition,” according to a new report from the Canada Climate Law Initiative that scorches the “troubling incrementalism” in the CPP’s investment strategy.

Only One in Three Canadian Dealerships Stocks EVs Despite Surging Demand

Canadians looking to buy an electric vehicle likely face a long wait, with auto dealerships across the country chronically undersupplied even as policy-makers invest in charging infrastructure and incentives, says a new report commissioned by Transport Canada.

TAF Fetes ‘Big Canadian Moment’ as Community Investment Model Goes National

Six Alberta First Nations Invest in $1.5-Billion Gas Plant with Provincial Loan Guarantee

Insurer Files Suit Against Dike Builder in Devastating 2019 Flood

CN Buys 50 Lion Electric Transport Trucks

Federal Program Helps Freight Handlers Decarbonize Their Fleets

Exclusive: NDP Riding Presidents Push Singh, 150 MPs and Staffers Talk Green Recovery, as Throne Speech Looms

The federal New Democratic Party leadership is taking grassroot fire for failing to use its position in a minority parliament to press the Trudeau government for tougher green recovery measures in its hotly-anticipated Speech from the Throne September 23.

Sustainable City Investments Drive COVID-19 Recovery, Global Coalition Concludes

Municipalities are the cornerstone of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and low-carbon investments and infrastructure will deliver the jobs, resilience, and support for marginalized and vulnerable populations the Trudeau government is expected to emphasize in its Speech from the Throne next week, according to the lead author of a new report on greening the global recovery through cities.

Newfoundland Turns Thumbs Down on Husky’s Offshore Oil Bailout Demand

With Husky Energy on the hunt for government bailouts for its C$2.2-billion West White Rose project off the Newfoundland coast, the provincial government is making it clear it doesn’t have any spare cash available to help the Calgary-based fossil out.

Ontario’s Ford Government Guts Environmental Protections, Undermines Health Record

While Ontario’s Ford government has proven to be an able defender of health in the face of COVID-19, it continues to be a profound threat to the environment, gutting established protections, hobbling climate action at every opportunity and, most recently, hamstringing the province’s environmental review process.

Move Toward EVs Not Enough to Mitigate Ride-Hailing Emissions

While recent pledges by Lyft and Uber to electrify their entire Canadian fleets by 2030 are laudable, public policy is still needed to tackle the growing spike in emissions as a pandemic-wary public increasingly turns away from transit and toward ride-hailing.

TC Energy Appoints New Coastal GasLink President

B.C.’s Howe Sound Rebounds, But Faces Climate Risk

Feds Back 10-MW Solar+Storage Project on PEI

Swift Current, Saskatchewan Starts Work on 10-MW Solar Project

Justin Trudeau

Fossils Troll for Relief as Throne Speech Focus Veers Toward Housing, Income Support

With the latest news and commentary out of Ottawa pointing to housing, employment insurance reform, and long-term care as main focal points for the September 23 Speech from the Throne, the fossil industry is pushing the Trudeau government for more bailout dollars and regulatory delays as part of the economic recovery from the pandemic.

Climate Crisis ‘Does Not Pause for Pandemic’, G7 Parliamentary Speakers Declare

The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis “require a robust and coordinated national response”, and elected parliaments must play a key role “by passing legislation, by approving national budgets, and by holding governments to account,” the speakers of the G7 parliaments declared Saturday, in a joint statement signed by the speaker of the Canadian House of Commons, Anthony Rota.

In Conversation: Action on Climate, Environmental Justice Begins with Empathy and Dialogue, Sitnick Says

Jessie Sitnick is vice president, corporate and public affairs at Argyle, a self-described “aspiring conversation nudger”, and a leading voice for connecting climate action with environmental justice. In this interview, she talks about white fragility, a moment of crisis, and how a fictional Nazi shone a light on a decarbonized future no one should want.

Multiple Mega-Fires Deliver Toxic Air, Extreme Heat, Rolling Blackouts Across Western U.S.

With “multiple mega-fires burning more than three million acres”, and millions of people in California, Oregon, and Washington State facing a mix of toxic air, extreme heat, and rolling blackouts, a month of summer wildfires is bringing some of the most dire predictions from climate scientists into day-to-day reality.

http://midwestenergynews.com/2013/10/24/as-pipeline-concerns-mount-a-renewed-focus-on-the-great-lakes-enbridge-mackinac-line-5/

Line 5 Pipeline Reopens After Regulators Complete Safety Review

Calgary-based Enbridge Energy has received permission to restart normal operations on the east leg of the aging Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac, after a review by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration “did not identify any integrity issues” caused by an anchor support being pulled out of place, apparently by a contractor’s support vessel.

Vancouver International Airport Pulls Plug on $600-Million Expansion

With passenger traffic at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) down 63% from last year, airport authorities have terminated a C$600 million expansion project—and the 4,000 jobs that went with it.

Unstable Foundations Have B.C. NDP Fretting About Site C Cost Overruns

Nalcor, Newfoundland and Labrador Resist Class Action Suit in 2017 Flood

Community Pushback Shifts Metrolinx Position on Jane-Finch Hub

Canada Launches New Satellite to Track Methane Emissions

Toronto Paramedics Adopt Hybrid-Electrics for Majority of Fleet

Arctic Wildfires Surpass 2019 Season Record in Eight Months

Last year’s Arctic wildfires set records, but 2020 has already outstripped that terrible devastation, with 200 more fires by July and CO2 emissions that were already 35% greater by late August than in the entirety of 2019.

Husky Seeks Government Bailout for $2.2-Billion Fossil Project Off Newfoundland Coast

Husky Energy is looking to federal and provincial governments for a bailout for its C$2.2-billion West White Rose project, an oil and gas drilling venture off the Newfoundland coast that it had planned to expand until the COVID-19 pandemic sent global fossil markets into a tailspin.

The Battle Plan: Key Lessons from the Second World War for the Climate Mobilization (Part 2)

This is the second of two excerpts from Seth Klein’s A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency, published in early September and available here. The book includes Klein’s “battle plan”, a set of key lessons for the climate mobilization from the Second World War.

Alberta Dials Down Expectations with Softer Mandate for ‘Foreign-Funded Radicals’ Inquiry

The Alberta government may be losing momentum in its crusade against supposed “foreign-funded special interests” working against the province’s oilpatch, with the deadline for commissioner Steve Allan’s report delayed four months and his terms of reference adjusted to acknowledge that he might not actually find any foreign influence over the industry.

Replace Pickering Nuclear Plant with Renewables, Not Gas, OCAA Urges

The impending closure of Ontario’s Pickering Nuclear Station is an opportunity to build a sustainable energy system based on sound energy efficiency programs, investment in local renewables, and hydroelectric power held in the public control—not ramped-up gas power generation, says the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

B.C. Seniors Fight Wildfire with Cooler, Creek Water Until Help Arrives

Montreal Tears Up Disputed Bike Path, Will Consult Neighbours Next Time

Liberals Promise Green Home Retrofits in New Brunswick Election

Nova Scotia Company Plans Another Try at Bay of Fundy Tidal

Trade War Drastically Reduces China’s Fossil Purchases from U.S.

Big Financial Loss Prompts Petronas to ‘Reassess’ Oil and Gas Investments, Expand Renewables

One of the partners in British Columbia’s massive LNG Canada megaproject, Malaysian state fossil Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), is planning to cut global oil and gas production and expand its presence in solar and wind after posting a US$5.06-billion loss between April and June of this year.

Green Recovery Investments May Depend on Making Monetary Theory Cool Again

With the Trudeau government expected to introduce a vision for a just, green recovery in its Speech from the Throne later this month, a profound shift in national monetary policy—yes, monetary policy—is emerging as a cornerstone of the new strategy.

Bolsonaro Holds Fast on Defence of Big Ag, Calls Rainforest Defenders a ‘Cancer’

While Brazil could gain two million jobs, US$535 billion in GDP, and 12 million hectares of restored pastureland by “building back better” from the pandemic, President Jair Bolsonaro is clinging  to his own status quo, defending the interests of Big Ag and calling the civil society groups fighting deforestation in the Amazon a “cancer”.

The Battle Plan: Key Lessons from the Second World War for the Climate Mobilization (Part 1)

This is the first of two excerpts from Seth Klein’s A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency, published in early September and available here. The book includes Klein’s “battle plan”, a set of key lessons for the climate mobilization from the Second World War.

Judge Strikes Down Ontario’s Gas Pump Propaganda Stickers as ‘Blatant Advantage-Seeking’

The Doug Ford government’s gas tank propaganda stickers against the federal floor price on carbon were an “unconstitutional attempt” to force private gas station operators to “stick it to” another order of government or political party, Justice Edward Morgan of the Ontario Superior Court ruled Friday.

Ontario Funding Model Undermines Transit, Favours Uber

As Ontario’s Doug Ford government signals an ever-increasing enthusiasm for microtransit services like Uber, critics warn that, far from being a panacea for transit woes, ridesharing undermines public transit and leads to reduced accessibility, rising fares, and more congestion and emissions.

Site C Hydro Project Becoming a ‘Cash Bonfire’, Globe and Mail Warns

Smoke from California Wildfires Reaches Southern Ontario

Oakville Buys 73 New Electric Buses

LaRonge, Saskatchewan Faces Heavy Flood Damage

Pembina Sees Renewables Helping Canadian Communities Build Back Stronger

September Throne Speech Will Include ‘Ambitious Green Agenda’, Trudeau Says

The federal government’s Speech from the Throne will lay out an “ambitious green agenda” that sets the stage for a “long-term recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic, leads the way on Canada’s shift to renewable energy and response to the climate crisis, and looks out for people working in industries affected by the transition, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Global News Wednesday.

Nuclear Industry Survey Shows 86% Public Support for Federal Investment in Clean Energy

More than three-quarters of Canadians see climate change as a serious issue, 57% say it has affected them or their loved ones, and 86% want the federal government to invest in clean energy technology to help address the crisis, according to an Abacus Data report released this week by the Canadian Nuclear Association.

‘Scientifically Valid Evidence’ Shows Tar Sands/Oil Sands Tailings Ponds Contaminating Northern Alberta Groundwater

There is “scientifically valid evidence” that toxic pollution seeping from tar sands/oil sands tailings ponds in northern Alberta is contaminating groundwater in the Athabasca watershed, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) concluded in an assessment released Thursday.

Risk of Sudden Floods Widens as Increasing Meltwater Swells Glacial Lakes

Researchers have recorded explosive growth in glacial lakes across the world over the past three decades—with climate change as a key driver. And as meltwater continues to pour into these basins, downstream communities and critical infrastructure are put increasingly at risk.

Multiple Threats Drive Population Losses for 59% of Canada’s Species at Risk

More than half of Canada’s species at risk have seen their populations fall over the last five decades, and those that appear on the international “red list” of endangered species have declined by an average 42%, according to the latest Living Planet Report released this week by WWF Canada.

Alberta Start-Up Plans Solar Arrays for Abandoned Oil Wells

An initial two to four abandoned oil well sites in Taber, Alberta will be converted to host small solar arrays, in a bid to make productive use of the sites while long-term remediation is under way.

Mining Association ‘Disheartened’ by Federal Review of Teck Coal Mine Expansion Plan

Transit Fleets Could Draw New Life from Diesel-to-ZEV Shift

GM Canada Commits to EV Charging Solutions

Salt Spring Island Enviro Solutions Must Include People: Mogus

St. John’s Climate Plan Foresees More Storms, More Rain

Wind power turbine

Freeland, Carney May Be Canada’s Last, Best Chance for a Green Recovery

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to Houston in March 2017 and declared fealty to a fossil fuel industry already entering its sunset, he showed it was bound to be a long, hard climb back to more sober-minded policy-making. Now, the question for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is whether that position still rings true in the context of a global health emergency, an accelerating climate crisis, a mounting wave of fossil fuel divestment and stranded assets, and the meteoric rise of clean energy alternatives.

Carney Joins Brookfield Asset Management as Vice-Chair, Head of ESG and Impact Investing

Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England now serving as United Nations special envoy on climate action and finance, signed on last week as vice-chair of Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management.

O’Toole Needs a Credible Climate Plan to Win a Federal Election, Analysts Say

Newly-elected Conservative leader Erin O’Toole will have a harder time delivering on his promise to form a national government if he can’t convince Canadians he cares about climate change and has a plan to do something about it, according to opinion analysts cited in The Narwhal’s explainer on the new leader and his policies.

E4D Urges Ottawa to Enshrine Chief Science Advisor Position in Legislation [Sign-On]

Three years after the Trudeau government appointed Chief Science Advisor Dr. Mona Nemer, Evidence for Democracy is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains to formalize the position in legislation and add C$2 million per year to Nemer’s budget.

Coalspur Demands Judicial Review of Federal Assessment for Vista Coal Mine Expansion

The company behind the Vista coal mine is calling for a judicial review of Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s decision to order an environmental assessment of its controversial plans to expand its operations.

Feds Won’t Commit to Renewal as Popular ZEV Rebate Nears Funding Limit

The federal government isn’t saying whether it will top up funding for its C$300-million electric vehicle purchase incentive, even though Transport Canada figures show 75% of the funds used up in the first 15 months of the three-year program.

Biden Win Would Deliver ‘Next Big Push’ to Renewable Energy Stocks

Renewable energy stocks that have “performed superbly” in spite of the Trump presidency are poised to do even better, if a Biden victory in the U.S. election this fall gives the cleantech sector its “next big push,” the Globe and Mail reported last month.

‘Unlikely Allies’ Create Renewable Energy Opportunities in Alberta

What do oil executives and climate activists have in common? Not much, if you listen to popular media narratives pitting environmental protection against economic growth. But at the Energy Futures Lab, diverse innovators and stakeholders in Alberta’s energy sector are finding plenty of room for collaboration.

Ottawa Promises ‘Very Specific Things to Say’ on East Coast Fossil Bailout

Feds Pledge $18.3M for Six South Baffin Renewables Projects

Cree Community Opens First Utility-Scale Solar Plant in Manitoba

Lethbridge Woman Swims 14 Kilometres Across Reservoir to Warn of Coal Mine Runoff Risk

Lithium Ion Pioneer Sees Canada ‘Pulling Above Its Weight’

Canadian Pension Board Invests $141M in Chinese Coal Projects, Undercutting Federal Phaseout Policy

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is jeopardizing Canadians’ retirement savings, undercutting federal government policy, and making a mockery of one of the country’s few points of climate leadership on the world stage by investing C$141 million in Chinese coal companies, a leading pensions and climate advocate said in late July.

UPDATED: Turnover at Finance Opens Door for a ‘Fundamental Retooling of the Canadian Economy’

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s dramatic resignation last night opens up an opportunity for his successor to embrace a green and just recovery as a cornerstone of the federal government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, leading climate and energy strategists have told The Energy Mix.

Op-ed: Metrolinx Betrayal of Toronto Neighbourhood Another ‘Ugly Form’ of Systemic Racism

After agreeing long ago to donate land so that Toronto’s impoverished but determined-to-flourish Jane-Finch neighbourhood could build a cultural and community hub, transit agency Metrolinx is being excoriated for betraying its promise—a decision that seems to reflect the persistent appearance that, in the minds of policy-makers, Black lives don’t matter all that much, after all.

Use Community Power, Grassroot Investment to Fuel Green Recovery, Energy Co-ops Urge

A group of seven renewable energy co-ops from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia is calling on the federal government to emphasize community power procurement, deep energy retrofits, and smart grid development in economic stimulus responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AIMCo Fossil Investment Strategy Cost Alberta Heritage Fund $2B

Spring Flooding Caused $522M in Damage in Fort McMurray

Alberta Aims to Solve Decades-Old Regulatory Problem with Orphan Wells

Manitoba First Nation Pans Nuclear Commission’s ‘Colonial, Inexcusable’ Behaviour

Urban Wine Project Turns Montreal Rooftops Into Vineyards

Carney Advises Ottawa on Pandemic Recovery as Speculation Swirls Around Morneau’s Future

Summer speculation was swirling in Ottawa this week with the news that former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney is back in the country and advising the federal government on next steps in its economic recovery plan. Carney’s arrival coincided with persistent rumours that Finance Minister Bill Morneau may soon be out of a job, though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went out of his way yesterday to express confidence in Morneau.

Multiple Freeze-Thaws Contributed to Gogama, Ontario Oil Train Derailment

Neighbours Protest Nuclear Pellet Plant in Peterborough

Enbridge CEO Sees No Big Problems Dealing with President Biden

Vancouver Turns to Heat Mapping to Cool Warmest Parts of the City

Hydro-Québec Tests the Waters with Solar

‘Entire Cities Are That Size,’ Scientist Says, as Canada’s Last Intact Arctic Ice Shelf Collapses

The Milne Ice Shelf on Ellesmere Island, the last fully intact ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic, has collapsed, after losing 40% of its area over a two-day span at the end of July, Reuters reports.

Weekend Tour Kicks Off Six-Week Push to Delay Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

More than 200 people signed up for a series of socially-distanced, small-group weekend tours of a conservation area in British Columbia, followed by a round of “know-your-rights training”, as campaign organizations prepared for a critical six weeks in their bid to halt construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

In Conversation: Canadians Must Keep Up the Pressure for Green Recovery, Sen. Rosa Galvez Says

Sen. Rosa Galvez chaired the Department of Civil and Water Engineering at Laval University, where she led a research project on the consequences of the explosion and spill of an oil-carrying freight train in Lac Mégantic before she was appointed to the Canadian Senate on November 2, 2016. As a member of the Senate National Finance Committee, she played a leading role in a review of Canada’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this interview, she assesses the federal government’s record so far in building a green recovery that focuses on people first.

Alberta Mismanages Heritage Fund, Misses Out on $575B in Revenue Over 44 Years

Successive Alberta governments over the last 44 years have mismanaged their way out of C$575 billion in revenue that should have been available to help cushion the province from a brutal oil price crash and chart a course to a more diverse, less fossil-dependent economy, according to a University of Calgary economics professor.

Pandemic Doesn’t Blunt Financial Sector Interest in Lower-Carbon Investments

Although the financial sector’s commitments to climate accountability and greater transparency only began to pick up major momentum in the months before the coronavirus made its appearance, the pandemic has not slowed down the drive for lower-carbon investments, as many campaigners feared it might.

Canadian Forecasters Urge Atlantic Coast to Prepare for Record Hurricane Season

In the wake of alarming news from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that 2020 may well be the most active hurricane season in history, Canadian meteorologists are warning the public and policy-makers to get ready for a one-two punch of pandemic and wild weather.

‘Tree-to-Toilet Pipeline’ Prompts Charge of ‘Greenflushing’ as NRDC Grabs Syndicated TV Spot

The Natural Resources Defense Council’s campaign against destruction of Canada’s boreal forest got a big boost last week with a syndicated TV spot on CBS This Morning.

Utility-Scale Battery Project Could Be ‘Game-Changer’ for Alberta Utility

A “really cool” utility-scale storage project that matches up a local wind farm with Tesla batteries is being cast as a possible game-changer for Calgary-based TransAlta Corporation, Alberta’s biggest utility.

Mississauga Company Looks to Recycle 95% of Battery Lithium

Rapid Glacier Loss Will Affect Regional Water Availability in Alberta

Great Lakes Water Temperatures Hit Three-Decade High

Heavy Rains Could Bring La Ronge, Saskatchewan Dam to Point of Failure

Inukjuak Hydro Project Starts Construction

Quebec Funds Renewable Natural Gas Projects for Export to Vermont

Exxon Rips Up $30-Billion Rebuilding Plan, Could Declare Stranded Assets at Kearl Lake

ExxonMobil’s massive Kearl Lake mine north of Fort McMurray may be the latest tar sands/oil sands to be devalued as one of the world’s most determined colossal fossils considers designating up to one-fifth of its global oil and gas reserves as stranded assets, part of a company-wide scramble to respond to crashing oil prices and weak markets for its product.

Budget Cut for Tar Sands/Oil Sands Monitoring Raises Health Concerns for Nearby First Nations

Indigenous communities in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories say they’re losing faith in federal and provincial environmental monitoring in the tar sands/oil sands, after The Canadian Press revealed earlier this week that this year’s field research program will sustain a funding cut of about 25%.

BC Hydro, NDP Blame COVID-19 for Site C Overruns, Despite Pre-Existing Problems

Two years after an international expert wrote a lengthy report on the myriad factors likely to lead to major construction cost overruns on the Site C hydroelectric dam, BC Hydro is blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for the multiple woes that now beset the megaproject. Not so fast, say those who have long and fiercely opposed it.

Beer: Alberta Should Treat Total’s $9.3-Billion Write-Off as a Wake-Up Call, Not a Cheap Shot

After French petroleum giant Total wrote off C$9.3 billion in stranded assets in the tar sands/oil sands, the Jason Kenney government had the option of treating the announcement as a wake-up call, not a cheap shot. And Albertans were hurt first and worst when their government made the wrong choice, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer argues in a post for The Narwhal.

Alberta’s Fossil Tax Relief Plan Downloads Financial Pain to Small Communities

Alberta’s United Conservative Party is considering relieving the province’s oil and gas operators of their obligation to pay municipal property taxes, an act of corporate welfare that would leave rural communities unable to balance their budgets without resorting to steep residential tax hikes or savage cuts to services. 

Gray: Canada Loses if Trudeau Bets on a Second White House Term for Trump

The Trudeau government appears to be betting on a second White House term for Donald Trump, Environmental Defence Executive Director Tim Gray observes in a blog post this week. And that means Ottawa could be caught offside if Joe Biden wins the presidency, with his plan for a US$2-trillion green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.