EthicalOil.org and the Harper Government

Jan
13
 
Thursday, 12 January 2012

EthicalOil.org and the Harper Government - by Damien Gillis


The various spokespeople for supposed "grassroots" pro-Tar Sands and pipeline organization EthicalOil.org have steadfastly maintained their campaign has no connection to the oil and gas industry or the Harper Government. But as the links between these groups continue to pile up, that contention becomes harder and harder to swallow. From identical talking points - "ethical oil", alleged foreign meddling in Canadian pipeline politics, the dismissal Enbridge's opponents as a handful of environmental "radicals" - to the revolving door between EthicalOil.org and the Harper Government, it's hard not to see the two groups are working together on behalf of predominantly foreign oil interests.
 
The various spokespeople for supposed "grassroots" pro-Tar Sands and pipeline organization EthicalOil.org have steadfastly maintained their campaign has no connection to the oil and gas industry or the Harper Government. But as the links between these groups continue to pile up, that contention becomes harder and harder to swallow.

I witnessed conservative pundit Ezra Levant debut his "Ethical Oil" concept when he came to Vancouver to debate the Wilderness Committee's Ben West in late 2010. The premise Levant laid out at the Rio Theatre - essentially, that bitumen from Canada is the "fair trade coffee" of the world's oil supply because this country has a better human rights record than Saudi Arabia or Iran -  was being parroted soon thereafter by newly minted Environment Minister Peter Kent.

The synchronicity of talking points between Ethical Oil, Enbridge, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (the oil and gas industry's official lobby) and the Harper Government should be our first clue that these entities are working together on some level.

"Ethical Oil" didn't just spring from nowhere - it was carefully conceived in the manner of major advertising campaigns and the work of Republican strategist Frank Luntz (who coined "the death tax" in order to push lower estate taxes, and encouraged the Bush Administration to re-frame global warming as "climate change", for instance). In fact, what we are presently witnessing around the Enbridge debate is the full-force implementation of American-style political campaign tactics - where everything is built around a single, simple concept - like "socialist" Obama-care (right!), "tough on terror", or Orwellian distortions like the "Patriot "Act - which, no matter how illogical, gain traction through relentless, monosyllabic repetition, delivered via the triple threat of corporate media, government and corporate-backed lobbies, "think tanks" and pr firms.

Posted By arthrtph read more

Clark's staff shuffle reflects need to keep anti-NDP coalition intact

Jan
13

The Daily Twigg Vol. 1 No. 6  Jan. 13, 2012

 

Clark's staff shuffle reflects need to keep anti-NDP coalition intact

Tory import Boessenkool must overcome a growing series of Liberal policy blunders

By John Twigg

The metaphor about cabinet shuffles being like "shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic" has been overused in politics and journalism but somehow it still seems to fit well on the tough situation facing the B.C. Liberal Party government now nominally headed by Premier Christy Clark.

Increasingly it is looking like Ms Clark and her many holdovers from the Campbell Liberals regime will be going down to an ignominious defeat in the next provincial election in May 2013, probably starting with dismal showings in two byelections expected to be called in coming weeks.

As we've pointed out here before, indeed in the first issue of my revived newsletters business, the problem is not merely the massive mound of garbage left behind by former premier Gordon Campbell but increasingly on top of that it is Clark and her cabinet and advisers who have been bungling issue after issue after issue, to the point that grumblings and biting critiques have moved from being only in a few top blogs like those of Alex Tsakumis, Bill Tieleman and others into the mainstream media columns of Mike Smyth, Vaughn Palmer and increasingly numerous others, with lots more echoes on open line shows.

Posted By arthrtph read more

The Rotten State of Law and The Courts In Canada: Madness

Jan
12
 
The Rotten State of Law and The Courts In Canada: Madness

By Robin Mathews

January 12, 2012

The higher (and other) courts in B.C. are in the news again – this time because of the almost ridiculous state of financial deprivation the Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark government has put the court system into. Courts are starving.  Judges are in short supply.  Staff is minimal.  Legal Aid support is a disgrace.  Serious cases are being tossed as a result of unacceptable delay.  Justice is being denied ….
 
Major court commentator (Vancouver Sun) Ian Mulgrew trivializes the situation by using it to insult a lawyer trying to do something to ease the injustice.  Madness.  But madness is afoot in a British Columbia staggering from high-level corruption.  And the madness is incarnated in the Mainstream Press and Media, as Ian Mulgrew shows.
 
Begin by recognizing a fundamental point. Good, effective (especially) higher courts are a threat to corrupt governments and corporations.  There could be a direct connection between that fact and the starving of the courts in B.C.
 
The rule of law is under attack in Canada – led by the Stephen Harper government which eludes justice in cases against it and laughs in the face of law, contract, and decency.  Maybe I should say “led by the Stephen Harper government which is following the Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark government that violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in its first years by attempting to smash unions - breaking contract with the hospital employees union and denying teachers fundamental bargaining rights”. Both actions have been overturned by the courts. Christy Clark has yet to restore the rights of teachers, even after a Supreme Court of B.C. order more than a year ago.
 
How’s that for open contempt for the rule of law by the Christy Clark government? Open, public rejection of a Supreme Court order.

Posted By arthrtph read more

The Daily Twigg: Clark gov't should try for better benefits for B.C.from proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline

Jan
07
 
 
The Daily Twigg Vol. 1 No. 2 Jan. 6, 2012

Clark gov't should try for better benefits for B.C.from proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline

Exports to Asia could start asap with oil-on-rail to ports, project could add local jobs with new refinery near tidewater

By John Twigg

In keeping with the focus on opinion polls in the previous issue, it's all the more interesting to closely examine a poll released Thursday (Dec. 5) which reportedly finds considerable support in B.C. for the proposed $5.5-billion Northern Gateway oil pipeline that would carry refined bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to an export terminal in Kitimat, B.C.

Public hearings by the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency begin next week on the project, which is backed by Enbridge Inc., a major pipeline operator with its share of accidents in other parts of North America, but the project has already been contentious for years and even was a difference-maker in some local government elections last year.

Many local interests are rightly concerned about the threat of polluting spills and many provincial interests even more worried about the threat of oil tanker accidents in B.C.'s rough waters, while First Nations interests naturally point out that there is a blatant lack of treaties along most of the proposed pipeline route and so far there hasn't been much in it for them except added risks to their environments and communities.

Posted By arthrtph read more
Posted By arthrtph read more

Christmas: Old Style on the Canadian Prairies

Dec
26
 
Christmas: Old Style on the Canadian prairies

 

by Arthur Topham
December 23, 2011

 
 
Growing up on the prairies of Saskatchewan back in the late 40s and early 50s was, to say the least, a far cry from 2011.

Living without electricity or running water in itself was enough to ensure that your lifestyle would be different in so many ways. Yes, we did have a telephone and it was a community effort so to speak with a number of neighbours in the surrounding area also enjoying this modern new technology and learning how to evesdrop in so that conversations of a supposed private nature sometimes became just the opposite!

My parents were farmers. We had a quarter section of land and they worked it in order to survive. It was no easy task. For many years my father worked the fields with our team of horses before finally being able to afford a small Ford tractor in the first half of the 1950s. As well, we lived about five miles away from the nearest small town called Togo where one could buy essentials and haul your products to town in order to sell them. Apart from the actual grain crops that went in to the wheat elevator in the fall we also would take in milk and cream and butter which would then be sold to the local buyers.

 
Posted By arthrtph read more

God & Man

Dec
23
Posted By arthrtph read more

The Salvation Army is Calling on YOU to Fill the Kettle

Dec
20

The Salvation Army is Calling on YOU to Fill the Kettle

With Christmas only days away, The Salvation Army is calling on Canadians to help fill kettles on street corners, store fronts and online as fundraising is still $6 million short of the $19 million goal. To date, The Salvation Army has collected $13 million in the nearly 2,000 kettles across the country. Kettles will continue accepting donations through Christmas Eve.

Donors can give to The Salvation Army in a variety of different ways this Christmas season.

• Supporters can give online at www.FilltheKettle.com. Using Google Maps technology, donors can find and give to a specific local kettle. All money raised stays in the community in which it was donated to support programs for people in need.

• Donors also have the option to host their own personal iKettle at www.FilltheKettle.com/iKettle. This easy-to-use online tool allows supporters to become virtual bell-ringers for The Salvation Army, collecting needed funds for the local community.

• And, of course, we always encourage giving at our physical kettle locations on street corners and retail centres across the country.

The Salvation Army recognizes that times are tough, but we know that we can count on Canadians to dig deep this year and help us achieve our goal. Demand for Salvation Army programs and service continues to surpass our available resources. Your support helps us provide a sense of hope and dignity for all Canadians.

Visit www.SalvationArmy.ca to learn more about how you can help this Christmas season. God bless you!

 
 
Posted By arthrtph read more

The Daily Twigg: BCIMC's costly burn in Sino-Forest stock crash shows pension funds better kept close to home

Dec
20
 
[Editor's Note: The QC Sentinel is pleased to announce that it will be carrying John Twigg's new column, "The Daily Twigg". John has been an active analyst of B.C.'s political landscape for some time now. The QC Sentinel has put out notice since its inception for local writers and columnists to join its publication and contribute local content but to date the invitation has proven to be rather sparse. That offer still stands.]
 
BCIMC's costly burn in Sino-Forest stock crash shows pension funds better kept close to home

By John Twigg  

Dec. 18, 2011
 
 
I was shocked to see the story in Saturday's Globe and Mail (Dec. 17) to the gist that the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCIMC) was the largest shareholder among more than a few who got burned for multi millions or even billions of dollars when ostensibly some evil rival short-sellers allegedly in June used false information to drive the Sino-Forest share value down to about zero from a mkt cap max of $5 billion - BCIMC had owned 6.5 million shares (price and value unknown) but is now down to "only" about 1.5 million shares and has a class-action lawsuit pending while the OSC froze the stock and the RCMP are investigating possible fraud. The story mentions that BCIMC withheld its votes at AGMs in 2007, 2008 and 2010 reportedly to protest the poor attendance of some Sino-Forest directors.
Posted By arthrtph read more

B.C. Supreme Court decision highlights Sangha family's "greed and virulent animosity"

Dec
20
http://www.straight.com/article-481756/vancouver/bc-supreme-court-decisi...
B.C. Supreme Court decision highlights Sangha family's "greed and virulent animosity"
The Tower Inn in Quesnel is at the centre of an extremely vicious family fight.
 
[Editor's Note: While this story is relatively late in being published the QC Sentinel only heard about it recently. One supposes that it might have been covered by Black Press but for some reason it passed below their radar screen as well. Because the story is a Quesnel one I have decided to reprint it for local readers.]
 
 
By Charlie Smith,
October 7, 2011

A B.C. Supreme Court ruling suggests that in the case of a Quesnel family, blood isn't always thicker than water.
 
After what can only be described as a monumental family feud, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Marion Allan ruled that Gurdial Singh Sangha was "oppressed as a shareholder and director of both Reliance and Alberta Co." by his father, Kharak Singh Sangha, brothers Dalbir Singh Sangha and Kewal Singh Sangha, and brother-in-law Baldev Johal.
Posted By arthrtph read more

Pages

Subscribe to Quesnel Cariboo Sentinel RSS