September 2021 This is a newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, commencing September 2017. It consists of headlines with weblinks to published news articles and political analysis. Occasional commentary by the website publisher, Roger Annis, appears in square brackets [ ] . For preceding months, go to ‘News pages archives’ on the home page of A Socialist In Canada and use the drop-down menu. To find past stories on this and other news pages on this website, use the ‘find’ (word search) function on your web browser. Headlines in red denote items published on the main news page of A Socialist In Canada.
Covid-19 cases in Canada. Comprehensive, daily reporting of Covid-19 is published by the Government of Canada, here. Students at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto maintain a website project reporting on Covid-19 cases in Canada, here. News of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on elder Canadians can be found at the website of the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Canada news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, September 2021
Ontario sees sharp rise in home buyers seeking investment properties, Globe and Mail, Sep 18, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Homebuying investment in Canada More home buyers are seeking investment properties in Ontario, according to new government data that show for the first time the extent of investor ownership in the housing market… In Ontario, non-owner occupied properties made up 23.2 per cent of all owned residential properties in early 2020 versus 22.7 per cent in the previous year. Condos appeared to be the most popular with investors, with 44 per cent not occupied by their owners… More than 90 per cent of the non-owner occupied properties in Ontario were owned by Canadian residents, as opposed to foreigners…
* Federal election campaign promises on housing could provide little relief on affordability, experts say, Globe and Mail, Sep 12, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Canada election 2021 and housing crisis
* Secret deals undercut Vancouver social housing developments, Globe and Mail, Sep 12, 2021 (subscriber only)
About-face in Alberta as health emergency declared amid surge in COVID-19 cases, proof-of-vaccination program to be launched, CBC News, Sep 15, 2021 …The decision this past spring to shift from a pandemic-to-endemic approach (‘learning to live with the virus’) seemed like the right thing to do based on data from other jurisdictions with similar vaccination rates, Premier Kenney told a news conference. “It is now clear that we were wrong, and for that I apologize,” Kenney said… Kenney later qualified his apology saying that it was a mistake to switch from pandemic management to endemic management too soon but he didn’t believe it was wrong to lift public health restrictions in July. “No, I don’t apologize for the decision to relax public health restrictions in the summer … when numbers were declining and vaccine numbers were going up,” he said…
* ‘Oops, sorry for lifting Covid protections’, Alberta’s incompetent ‘top doctor’ now says as health care system teeters. Report by CBC News, Sep 14, 2021 [Alberta has some 18,000 active cases of Covid-19, app. three times the numbers in BC, Ontario and Quebec.].
* New Covid-19 cases reported on September 15, 2021 in Canada’s largest provinces: British Columbia 661; Alberta 1,609; Saskatchewan 375; Ontario 593; Quebec 875.
New Cases per 100,000 population: British Columbia 13; Alberta 37; Saskatchewan 41; Ontario 5; Quebec 9.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Canada’s Carbon Economy and Indigenous Ambivalence, book chapter by Clifford Atleo, 2021 [This essay is chapter 13 of Regime of Destruction: How Corporate Power Blocks Energy Democracy, edited by William K. Carroll (Corporate Mapping Project) and published by Athabasca University Press (2021) ]
$40-million investment partnership by Suncor and eight Indigenous communities in Alberta tar sands pipeline is ‘a sign of more to come’, Globe and Mail, Sep 16, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Suncor First Nations partnership
Related: Natural gas firms and Nisga’a Nation unite on $55-billion fracked gas/liquefaction venture in British Columbia, Globe and Mail, July 19, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Nisga’a Nation support for fracked gas LNG
The ‘war in the woods’ against old growth forest logging in British Columbia shows no sign of easing as NDP gov’t and police continue their assaults against protesters, report in Globe and Mail, Sep 12, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: War in the woods
Related: RCMP make 27 more arrests at old-growth logging blockades in southern Vancouver Island, Canadian Press, Sep 12, 2021 Federal police have made 989 arrests since enforcement began around the Fairy Creek watershed …Since May, the RCMP has been enforcing a court injunction granted to the Teal-Jones Group, the forestry company that holds the harvesting licence in the area. The injunction is set to expire later this month and court hearings are scheduled in Nanaimo this coming week over an application by Teal-Jones for a one-year extension…
Long-term care needs neglected in federal election platforms, despite Covid-19 crisis, by Debra Sheets, (School of Nursing, U of Victoria), The Conversation, Sep 12, 2021
[This informative essay does not address the issue of criminal liability of the owners and operators of care homes where thousands of elderly Canadians have died during the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, many provincial governments (who bear primary responsilbity in Canada for elder care standards and resources) have passed laws specifically prohibiting legal action against care home operators. That includes Ontario (and here) and British Columbia, the latter being the only province with an NDP government. (See more background here). Canada had the highest number of deaths per capita in elder care homes among the wealthiest countries in the world. source]
Related: It’s time to make Canadian medicare truly universal, by Pat Armstrong and Hugh Armstrong, Canadian Dimension, Aug 28, 2021 We need a new national plan that goes beyond hospitals to include pharmacare, homecare, dental and long-term residential care
Doctors in Alberta warn of health system collapse as Covid-19 cases climb, The Canadian Press, Sep 9, 2021
* Alberta health authority cancels all elective surgeries in Calgary region as COVID-19 hospital admissions soar, Globe and Mail, Sep 9, 2021
* Saskatchewan delays surgeries as COVID-19 cases flood hospitals, Globe and Mail, Sep 10, 2021 …Saskatchewan recorded 432 new Covid-19 cases on September 10. It has the worst rate of infection of all provinces in Canada. The number of people admitted to hospital with the virus has soared over the past four weeks from 75 to 190, just below the peak of 203 in February…
[Here are the numbers of new cases of Covid-19 reported in Canada’s largest provinces during the previous seven days as of September 9, 2021 : British Columbia 4,684; Alberta 8,980; Saskatchewan 2,568; Ontario 5,059; Quebec 4,542. source Reported cases per 100,000 population during the preceding 14 days are: British Columbia 190; Alberta 383; Saskatchewan 384; Ontario 71; Quebec 101. source ]
Opposition to Ontario gov’t policy requiring no vaccine mandates for teachers and health care workers in Ontario, Toronto Star, Sep 11, 2021 …Instead of a vaccine mandate, Premier Doug Ford’s government in August imposed a policy requiring health-care and education workers who choose not to be vaccinated to complete an education module and agree to regular testing…
Canada must leave 83 per cent of its fossil fuels in the ground in latest 1.5°C scenario, The Energy Mix, Sep 9, 2021 Canada must leave 83% of its fossil fuel reserves and 84% of its tar sands/oil sands in the ground if the world is to have even a 50% chance of holding average global warming to 1.5°C, according to a paper published this week in the prestigious journal Nature…
Reference: Ditch 90% of the world’s coal and 60% of oil and gas to limit warming to 1.5°C, report by three researchers at University College London, published in Nature, Sep 8, 2021 …In order to hold global warming at 1.5°C, we found that nearly 60% of global oil and fossil gas reserves will need to remain in the ground in 2050. Almost all of the world’s coal – 90% – will need to be spared from factory and power plant furnaces. Our analysis also showed that global oil and gas production must peak immediately and fall by 3% each year until mid-century…
[In the federal election to take place on September 20, 2021, none of the parties commit to leaving fossil fuels in the ground or anything remotely close to that. The ‘climate action’ platform of the New Democratic Party speaks of “a target of reducing Canada’s emissions by at least 50 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030” while simultaneously voicing the ‘delay and deflect’ language of “reaching net-zero by 2050”. ‘Net zero’ is code language for ‘exporting fossil fuel emissions to other countries’. The NDP currently governs the province of British Columbia and it governed Alberta from 2015 to 2019. Those governments have encouraged and subsidized ever greater quantities of fossil fuel extraction, including the tar sands of Alberta and the gas-fracking terrain of northeastern British Columbia. Their policies in this respect are indistinguishable from the Liberal and Conservative party governments that preceded the NDP. (An analysis of the NDP’s ‘Climate Action Plan’ is here on CBC.) ]
Legal questions about rights linger as provinces bring in Covid-19 vaccine passports, Globe and Mail, Sep 7, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Rights and vaccine passports
* British Columbia’s lax vaccine protocol puts students in jeopardy, commentary by Hamish Telford, in Vancouver Sun, Sep 7, 2021
* Union of 12,000 transit workers in Toronto urges members not to cooperate with mandatory vaccination policy, Toronto Star, Sep 7, 2021
None of the political parties are willing to drive down home costs, commentary by Patrick Condon, The Tyee, Sep 7, 2021 (Patrick Condon is a professor at the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia and the founding chair of the UBC urban design program.) …The housing market is completely broken. City land has been colonized by global capital. We need to grow a non-market housing sector to gradually decolonize urban land…
* Ending Canada’s prolonged housing crisis requires building more non-market housing, commentary by David Moscrop, Canadian Dimension, Sep 1, 2021
* Where the parties stand on Canada’s housing affordability crisis, The Tyee, Sep 1, 2021 …Despite saying they want to make housing more affordable, all the major parties include policies that experts say will push prices even higher. The NDP, Conservatives and Liberals have all promised tax breaks, reduced barriers to lending or other measures to help wannabe homeowners gain a foothold in the market…
[This is a perceptive analysis of the social consequences of the devotion by Canada’s political parties to the holy grail of house ownership. But it fails to argue why housing should be treated as a social right, not a commodity to be bought and sold, and how that may come about in a transitional process. Close to 70 per cent of Canadian households are privately owned or mortgaged. That places the country in the higher echelon among its imperialist allies in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific. Wikipedia].
* Concealed by Revenue Canada since 2015, study linking home prices in Vancouver to millionaire migration is revealed thanks to lengthy freedom-of-information request, by Ian Young, South China Morning Post, Aug 31, 2021
* Canada’s housing crisis personified in Liberal Party candidate who has made $4.9 million from selling 41 properties since 2005, 21 of them after less than a year of ownership. Report by CBC News, Aug 30, 2021 [The Liberal Party and the NDP have been talking up Canada’s housing crisis during the campaign for the Sept 20 election. Their solution is more of the same–more free money to convince homebuyers to join in the home ownership racket and free-for-all.]
Teal Jones forest company, RCMP and old-growth forest defenders due in court this month for four hearings, Canadian Press, Sep 7, 2021
As Canada’s election rolls along, the country’s drug overdose [poisoning] crisis ‘has never been worse’, say advocates and medical experts, Toronto Star, Sep 7, 2021 Each day since the federal party leaders hit the campaign trail last month, an estimated 17 Canadians have died from an accidental drug overdose… Experts emphasize the need for life-saving harm reduction strategies and safe supply programs. The Liberals, New Democrats and Greens have all promised to invest in the expansion of these interventions. The Conservative platform, on the other hand, emphasizes recovery and treatment programs rather than harm reduction…
* New record for drug poisoning deaths in British Columbian with more than 1,000 deaths in first six months of 2021, news release by the BC Coroners Service, Aug 31, 2021 At least 1,011 lives were lost to suspected illicit drug toxicity in B.C. between January and June 2021, according to data released by the BC Coroners Service…
* The opioid crisis is killing Canadians, but where is the political will to solve it?, Global News, Aug 31, 2021
* Decriminalize and regulate illicit drugs to end toxicity deaths in Canada, commentary by Donald MacPherson, in Vancouver Sun, Aug 31, 2021 (Donald MacPherson is an adjunct professor within the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.)
Schools in British Columbia have fewer Covid-19 safety measures in place compared to last year, says teachers union, Global News, Sep 6, 2021 …BC Teachers’ Federation president Terri Mooring explains that unlike last year, this year there will be no cohorts, no physical distancing, no daytime custodians, no provincial limits on school gatherings, no exposure notices and no limits to school visitors…
Related: Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in K-12 schools and early care and education programs (updated), by the Centers for Disease Control (U.S.), July 9, 2021 …Studies show that schools have not been a major cause of Covid-spreading events, particularly when a number of prevention measures are in place [emphasis added] such as masking indoors, keeping students at least three feet apart in classrooms, keeping students in separate cohorts or ‘pods’, encouraging hand washing and regular testing, and quarantining…
Three-quarters of Canadians don’t see the Sep 20 election as necessary, reports latest poll by Nanos, CTV News, Sep 3, 2021
When it comes to Ontario’s vaccine passport system, where there’s a political will, there’s a way, by André Picard, health columnist, Globe and Mail, Sep 1, 2021 Ontario has finally done what was glaringly obvious would be necessary months ago – implement a proof-of-vaccination requirement for public spaces like restaurants, bars, gyms, and sporting venues. Yet, the new rules won’t take effect until Sept. 22… The breadth and depth of the ineptitude on display here boggles the mind… read the column here in pdf format: Ontario’s vaccine pass
Related pandemic news in Canada:
* How BC’s chief public health officer downplayed Covid safety measures, causing a fourth round of Covid negligence. Analysis by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, Sep 1, 2021
* Here are the vaccine pass details of the four Canadian provinces so far to declare them, Toronto Star, Sep 1, 2021
* Covid-19 vaccination level must top 85 per cent to avoid a fall lockdown, Ontario gov’t science board projects, Toronto Star, Sep 1, 2021 …In Ontario, more than 76 per cent of the eligible population over age 12 is fully vaccinated, with the unvaccinated accounting for the majority of infections and hospital admissions. The government has announced a proof-of-vaccine certificate system for non-essential businesses such as gyms, restaurants, theatres and sports venues to take effect September 22…
* Polling shows Covid-19 vaccine mandates for workers, offices remain popular among Canadians, Global News, Sep 2, 2021
* Right-wing protests against Covid-19 vaccine passes take place across British Columbia, Vancouver Sun, Sep 1, 2021 Coordinated protests in BC’s largest cities on September 1 targeted hospitals, among other locations.
* Right-wing protests voicing anti-vaccination views and directed against Liberal Party incumbents mark early weeks of election campaign, Toronto Star, Aug 31, 2021
This election was supposed to be the Green Party’s moment. Instead, it is deeply divided internally, The Tyee, Sep 2, 2021
Canada news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, August 2021
Liberal Party campaign covers big miles in first week of election, but questions linger over PM Trudeau’s reason for calling the vote, CBC News, Aug 20, 2021
Opposition parties in Ontario call for mandatory vaccinations for health care workers and teachers, Toronto Star, Aug 20, 2021 [Only a few weeks earlier, NDP leader Andrea Horwath reversed a statement she made opposing mandatory vaccinations for teachers.]
Daily Covid cases in British Columbia could soon exceed record levels says latest modelling report, CTV News, Aug 18, 2021 The BC Covid-19 Modelling Group released new data on August 18, imploring for more public health measures to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. The report shows unvaccinated people could propel Covid-19 case numbers to unprecedented levels, spread the virus to kids who can’t be immunized, and overwhelm the health-care system in a matter of months… The provincial Green Party wants a return to an indoor mask mandate and for the province to require all health-care, education and public-facing government employees to be fully vaccinated.
Covid class struggle: [Daily Covid-19 cases in British columbia reached 689 on August 19. (Ontario, with nearly three times the population, reported 650 new cases on Augut 20.) Shockingly, cases at long-term care homes for the elderly are on the rise, while and 41 new cases are reported at the construction site of the Site C hydro-electric dam boondoggle in the province’s northeast. The government and its libertarian chief medical officer, Bonnie Henry, are resisting the Covid safety measures being advocated by the Green Party, health professionals, and students and faculties at the province’s universtities. Authorities have been going in the opposite direction, putting the interests of big business–notably natural resource looting–ahead of needed public health measures. Resistance is slowly growing.]
Alberta universities announce COVID-19 vaccine and testing requirements for fall while BC gov’t tells universities to back off, Globe and Mail, Aug 17, 2021 The University of Calgary, University of Alberta and University of Lethbridge jointly announced the new COVID-19 protocols on August 17. These will “require all those coming to campus to undergo regular rapid testing”, with exemptions for the fully vaccinated. Those who do not disclose their immunization status or only have one shot will need a negative result from a rapid COVID-19 test before joining in-person activities. Masks will be mandatory indoors when physical distancing is not possible… In British Columbia, a directive from the provincial government last month said universities cannot go beyond the province’s current guidelines in which mask-wearing is a personal choice and classes can be scheduled without physical distancing requirements. Post-secondary institutions in British Columbia cannot implement a mandatory mask or vaccination policy. That directive clashes with staff, faculty and students at post-secondary institutions in the province who are increasingly strident in their demands that vaccination be required to attend classes and live in residences…
As millennials fall out of love with Trudeau, Liberals need to stop bleed towards the NDP, National Post, Aug 17, 2021
Related election news:
* Conservative insiders fear the party’s opposition to mandatory vaccinations will hurt the party’s election chances, Toronto Star, Aug 17, 2021 …The Conseervative campaign issued a revised statement late Sunday night saying a Conservative government would require unvaccinated federal public servants to pass daily rapid tests to access their workplaces and all unvaccinated travellers hoping to board planes, trains, interprovincial buses or ships would be required to present a recent negative test result or pass a rapid test…
* Trudeau Liberals under pressure on the campaign trail from the West’s Canada’s debacle in Afghanistan. Report in Toronto Star, Aug 17, 2021 …With Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole and and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh ganging up on them, and harrowing pleas emerging out of Afghanistan, the Liberals changed tack on August 17. “Canada has no plans to recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan,” Trudeau said during a campaign stop where he was pitching the Liberal party’s popular daycare plan. “They have taken over and replaced a duly elected democratic government by force.”…
Canada’s federal government workers union PSAC opposes discipline against unvaccinated workers under federal jurisdiction, Globe and Mail, Aug 17, 2021
Background: Federal government to require vaccinations for all federal public servants, air and train passengers, CBC News, Aug 13, 2021
Ontario gov’t says no mandatory vaccinations of school and government workers, those without will need to prove testing, CP24 news, Aug 17, 2021 (with several video panel interviews)
Related: Ford government’s vaccine policy questioned by Ottawa doctor, educator and parent, CBC News, Aug 17, 2021
One simple principle: No vaccine, no go, op-ed commentary by Theresa Man Ling Lee, in Globe and Mail, Aug 16, 2021 (Theresa Man Ling Lee is an associate professor in political theory in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph.)
Two related op-eds:
* Canada’s universites and colleges have broken their students’ trust, op-ed commentary by Manish Raizada, Globe and Mail, Aug 16, 2021 (Manish Raizada is a professor and molecular geneticist at the University of Guelph.)
* To protect our kids from Covid-19, we have to be grown-ups, op-ed commentary by Katharine Smart, in Globe and Mail, Aug 16, 2021 (Katharine Smart is the president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association.)
Nurses and doctors take aim at BC government and industry’s ’s liquefied natural gas ambitions, by Michelle Gamage, The Tyee, Aug 18, 2021 Campaign cites health and climate risks, and challenges claims LNG is a greener ‘transition fuel’ People heading toward the Tsawwassen ferry terminal in Vancouver region last weekend may have spotted an eerie sign of the times — a handful of doctors and nurses, standing under smoky skies, hoisting banners warning against the climate threat from liquified natural gas. The group gathered to launch Unnatural Gas, a public awareness campaign by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment about the climate and health damage from natural gas. The associations say plans for an LNG industry in BC — including the $18-billion LNG Canada plant under construction in Kitimat — will drive an increase in gas production in the province’s northeast, largely from fracked wells…
Snap pandemic election as Liberal Party gambles on Canadian public’s poor undertanding of the global warming emergency and Canada’s shambolic pandemic response
[Nearly 27,000 Canadians have died from Covid-19, while Canada continues in its role as a leading vandal in the global warming emergency. Middle class Canadians are prepared to look beyond all this and more, provided that their privileged lives may continue. Comforting messages to this effect from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the outset of a federal election vaunt the pandemic status quo. The Liberals’ call for mandatory vaccinations will serve as a large ‘wedge’ issue for the Liberals during the election, due to the Conservative Party’s opposition to mandatory vaccinations (for example, for health care professionals, in university classes and residences, and in elderly care homes). For now, there is scarcely a left-wing critique of the Liberal record to be heard, and no meaningful, left-wing electoral alternative on offer. The New Democratic Party may well see political gains thanks to an election platform calling for modest tax increases on the rich and modest improvements to health care programs. An informative, initial election analysis is here: Trudeau’s big gamble, O’Toole’s vaccination blind side, and other keys to the campaign, Maclean’s Magazine, Aug 16, 2021. Read another analysis here.]
Community rally brings down statue of John A. Macdonald in downtown Hamilton park, five weeks after city council voted to keep it. Report by CBC News, Aug 14, 2021 A statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister and an architect of the country’s genocidal actions against First Nations people, was toppled in a downtown Hamilton park on August 14 after hundreds of people attended a rally and march calling for its removal. The Hamilton Indigenous Unity rally, organized by members of the local Indigenous community, took place on the front steps of city hall…
Ontario premier must make vaccinations mandatory, by Martin Regg Cohn, columnist, Toronto Star, Aug 13, 2021
* About-face by Ontario gov’t on mandatory vaccines for health care professionals and long-term care home staff. Report in Toronto Star, Aug 13, 2021
[The government decision follows extensive calls for such measures by health care professionals and staff, which is not mentioned in this Toronto Star report. Universities in the province are deciding their own mandatory vaccination policies as the right-wing government refuses to implement the measures. Meanwhile, teachers and students want stronger Covid protection measures in schools, including mandatory vaccinations for staff.].
* Advocates fear ‘post-pandemic recovery’ plans in Ontario will leave behind the communities hardest hit by Covid, Toronto Star, Aug 13, 2021
* Ontario showing no interest in federal program making funds available for safety improvements in long-term care homes, Toronto Star, Aug 13, 2021
[There are an estimated 500,000 elder Canadians living in long-term care homes or assisted living facilities. These homes were the sites of the grim Covid-19 massacre among the elderly in Canada, including 32,215 infections to date and 4,525 deaths, caused by the historic degrading of care for elederly citizens and the specific pandemic negligence by health authorities and governments in the country. As the bodies began to pile up, the Ontario government promised immediate, emergency measures to improve living and working conditions in the homes for the elderly. But as of early March 2021, nursing and seniors’ homes in Canada continued to account for the greatest proportion of outbreak-related cases and deaths, representing about 7% of all cases and more than 50% of all deaths. Only widespread vaccinations have prevented much worse outcome. References: Statistics Canada and the National Institute on Aging.]
Some businesses facing a labour shortage blame workers, but these employers boosted pay instead — and found hiring was easy, by Jacob Lorinc, business reporter, Toronto Star, Aug. 14, 2021
Stumbling blocks in Ontario on the path back to normal: Rising cases, low vaccination rates and government reluctance to legislate mandatory vaccinations, Toronto Star, Aug 12, 2021 …Twelve of the 34 public health units in Ontario have not reached vaccination rates of 70 per cent of their eligible populations, another benchmark that must be met to continue to reopen…
* New COVID-19 cases in Ontario jump above 400 for first time since mid-June, CTV News, Aug 8, 2021
* Ontario colleges and universities are unveiling their Covid-19 vaccine policies; few are requiring vaccinations, Toronto Star, Aug 12, 2021
* Mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for children and students? Ontario’s experience shows mixed results, by multiple authors at U of Guelph, published in The Conversation, Aug 5, 2021 Ontario is one of only two provinces in Canada that requires students to have up-to-date vaccinations in order to attend school. The other is New Brunswick.
Canadian universities are largely rejecting mandatory vaccination measures despite growing concerns among students, professors, Globe and Mail, Aug 10, 2021
* UBC Alma Mater Society (student union) pens open letter to univ. administrators calling for mandatory masks in classrooms and vaccinations in residences, CBC News, July 27, 2021 The University of British Columbia is planning on doing the “bare minimum” to keep students safe from COVID-19 when in-person classes return in the fall, the school’s student society says in open letter dated July 23
* UBC student union calls for mandatory masks in classrooms, vaccines in residences, Global News, July 25, 2021
Canada has entered a fourth wave, doctors warn as COVID-19 cases rise, CTV News, Aug 11, 2021 …Canada’s seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases is nearing 1,300, up 60 per cent from last week. The bulk of new infections are in British Columbia, which reported more than 1,000 new infections between Sunday and Tuesday, followed by Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec…
Another about-face on Covid by BC’s NDP gov’t and its libertarian chief public health officer: Mandatory vaccines for staff at long-term care homes. Report by CBC News, Aug 12, 2021 [The previous, large about-face in BC was in November 2020 when Dr. Bonnie Henry finally bowed to pressure from citizens and health professionals and ordered mandatory masking in public venues and gatherings.].
Related: Covid-19 numbers surge to three month high in British Columbia with 536 new cases on August 11 [717 on Aug 13], CBC News, Aug 11, 2021 [The NDP gov’t in BC announced the lifting of Covid-19 safety measures in late June, including masking requirements and limits on size of social gatherings.]
About-face in Alberta on Covid ‘reopening’ plans, CBC News, Aug 12, 2021 and read: report in Toronto Star, Aug 13, 2021
* Alberta reports highest daily COVID-19 case count since late May, CBC News, Aug 11, 2021 Alberta recorded 501 new cases of Covid-19 on August 11 [582 on August 13]. In late July, the provincial gov’t lifted testing and contact tracing procedures for Covid-19 as well as masking requirements in public spaces.
* Alberta College of Family Physicians says chief provincial health officer wrongly implied their support for Covid changes, CBC News, Aug 6, 2021 The Alberta College of Family Physicians says it was not consulted and had no prior knowledge about the province’s new protocols on testing, isolation and contact tracing, despite what may have been suggested by the province’s chief medical officer of health…
Previously reported: Alberta gov’t joins team ‘just give up’ on stemming coronavirus, by Andrew Nikiforuk, The Tyee, Aug 6, 2021 …Premier Kenney’s shift in approach has been called everything from a reckless gambit to repugnant callousness. It is all that and something more disturbing — a modern government admitting it can no longer deal promptly and effectively with undeniable threats to the greater community. Alberta’s is not the first government do so, and don’t expect it to be the last…
U.S. case against Meng Wanzhou is ‘fatally flawed’ her lawyers tell judge as extradition hearing wraps up, The Canadian Press, Aug 13, 2021
Previously reported: Judge in Meng Wanzhou extradition hearing raises doubts about American fraud charge, by Sean Fine, justice reporter, Globe and Mail, Aug 12, 2021 The judge presiding over the extradition hearing of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou says the fraud charge by the United State is unusual. No one lost money, the allegations are several years old, and the intended victim, a global bank [HSBC], knew the truth even as it was allegedly being lied to, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes of the B.C. Supreme Court said on August 12… One day earlier, the first day of the evidence phase of Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearing, the judge said she was having “great difficulty” understanding how sanctions law applies to the alleged fraud, as Ms. Meng acknowledged doing business in Iran and the U.S. did not spell out in the legal documents provided to Canadian authorities what the line was between legal and illegal activity…
Lima Group loses Lima, by Yves Engler, published on his website and in several alternative media sites in Canada, Aug 11, 2021 The Canadian-instigated Lima Group, conceived as a lead force in the drive to violently overthrow the government of Venezuela, has been dealt what is likely a fatal blow with the election of a left-wing government in Peru on June 6 (Wikipedia). That ought to elicit serious discussion about Canada’s imperialist foreign policy, but don’t expect the media or politicians to even mention it.
Since the signing of the 2015 Paris agreement on global warming, Canadian banks have financed oil, gas, and coal companies to the tune of nearly $700 billion, National Observer, Aug 11, 2021 …Canada’s big banks could be more at risk than they’re letting on. That’s according to a new report from Amsterdam-headquartered research firm Profundo, commissioned by Greenpeace Canada. It finds that the big five Canadian banks — RBC, BMO, TD, CIBC, and Scotiabank — are all in the top 25 banks worldwide to finance fossil fuel companies…
* Despite calls for change, Canada’s largest bank, RBC, is one of world’s top bankers to fossil fuel industry, CBC News, Mar 24, 2021
* Alberta premier Jason Kenney and the province’s fossil fuel industries shrug their shoulders over dire warning by IPCC. Report in Toronto Star, Aug 9, 2021 …In a report released in July 2021, the Pembina Institute said that Alberta accounts for 38 per cent of Canada’s emissions and that the province’s emissions increased by 17 per cent between 2005 and 2019. The oil-and-gas sector industries account for 51 per cent of Alberta’s overall emissions. Much of Canada’s success in emissions reduction over the past 15 years [sic] has been offset by growth in transportation and energy industries…
Critics question BC’s growing fossil fuel subsidies in wake of IPCC’s dire new report on global warming, CBC News, Aug 9, 2021
A fourth wave of pandemic negligence by gov’t and health authorities is underway in British Columbia. Report by Moira Wyton, in The Tyee, Aug 4, 2021 …Driven by the highly-transmissible Delta variant, now dominant in BC, the new surge is what epidemiologists said the province would have been able to avoid by waiting to reopen. In early July, the independent BC Covid-19 Modelling Group reported that the province’s widespread reopening before the majority of eligible people were fully vaccinated left the “future trajectory of Delta wide open”… Unvaccinated people accounted for about 78 per cent of Covid-19 cases in BC between June 15 and July 15, despite representing only 19.6 per cent of the population. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told Global TV on August 3 that 97 per cent of those infected in the Central Okanagan region, where an outbreak was declared last week, were not vaccinated…
* BC gov’t and its libertarian chief medical officer stay the course on ‘reopening’ the economy as new case numbers rise and set off alarms, by Moira Wyton, The Tyee, Aug 6, 2021 …Sarah Otto, a professor at the University of British Columbia and member of the independent BC COVID-19 Modelling Group, says relying on vaccines isn’t enough to prevent the highly transmissible Delta variant from spreading. Without both stringent public health measures like mandatory masks and more widespread vaccination, “a perfect storm is what we’re in”…
A vaccine-only strategy won’t prevent a fourth wave of Covid-19, op-ed commentary by Dr. Brooks Fallis, Globe and Mail, Aug 4, 2021 (Brooks Fallis is a critical care physician and the former medical director and division head of critical care at the William Osler Health System in Toronto region.) Read the op-ed here in pdf format: Vaccine-only strategy not enough
Toronto’s housing crisis is decades in the making, Toronto Star, Aug 7, 2021 Wait times for most social housing complexes in Toronto are decades long …The landscape of social housing — and recent who is responsible for building it — has shifted over decades. The federal government was once a major player, according to research published out of the University of Toronto in 2013, taking on a bigger role in construction in the postwar era. That changed in the ’90s, the U of T research said, when the federal government (Liberal Party gov’t under PM Jean Chrétien] withdrew housing funding…
Jacobin magazine’s superficial analysis of politics in Canada
[An August 7 article in Jacobin by writer Luke Savage is titled ‘Canada’s social democrats could make big gains in a snap election‘. The article is an example of the superficial political analysis that passes for left-wing political writing in Canada. Canada’s social-democratic New Democratic Party, the third largest party in Canada’s Parliament, has formerly voted in support of the Liberal Party government of Justin Trudeau since the 2019 election that produced a minority government (currently: 155 Liberal seats, 119 Conservative, 32 Bloc québécois, 24 NDP, two Green, five independent). The party supports Canada’s military participation in the U.S.-led New Cold War against China and Russia and hasn’t formally raised a peep against the U.S./Canada-led sanctions against the people of Venezuela. The NDP’s left-wing credentials are a far cry, even, from the limited standard of the Labour Party of Britain during the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
[The NDP stakes its claim to left-wing credentials on its verbal, though not active, support for such social measures as expanded pensions, a national ‘pharmacare’ program, and modest increases in taxation of the wealthiest. In government, as in British Columbia since 2015 and in Alberta from 2015 to 2019, the NDP provides some softening of the harshest social edges of globalized capitalism. Simultaneously, it pursues the ‘big ticket’ capitalist items of expanded natural resource plunder, including oil, gas and tar sands extraction; low wages in service industries; crushing the poorest of the poor; and avoiding the strict measures needed to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The political left in Canada has for decades failed to build a party to represent the working class, including the First Nations component of the working class. Instead, the Jacobin writer catches the characterist politics of this political left when he writes, “The NDP must champion its social-democratic agenda loudly and unapologetically.” But that is precisely what the NDP is doing. The political left tails along for the ride.]
British Columbia Supreme Court judge raises doubts about the heart of the U.S./Canada extradition case against Meng Wanzhou at new stage of her extradition trial. Report by Sean Fine, justice writer, Globe and Mail, Aug 5, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Meng Wanzhou extradition trial
Related: New stage opens in Vancouver courtroom in the attempted railroading into U.S. prison gulag of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. Report by CBC News, Aug 4, 2021
Previously reported: Judge in Vancouver overseeing extradition drive against Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou into U.S. prison gulag rejects new evidence showing U.S. gov’t case is fabricated. Report by Canadian Press, July 9, 2021 Meng Wanzhou’s extradition trial is now set to recommence on August 3
Canadians died of COVID-19 in long-term care by the thousands. So why are there so few coroners’ reports?, investigative report in Globe and Mail, Aug 5, 2021 …Canada had the worst record for COVID-19 fatalities in long-term care homes among other wealthy countries during the first wave of the pandemic… No province, with the notable exception of Quebec, has ordered public hearings into the disproportionate toll the coronavirus took on residents. Investigations by provincial coroners and medical examiners have been rare, leaving allegations of neglect inside some homes largely unexamined. In the absence of proper assessments of these deaths, nursing home operators have rarely, if ever, lost their licences, no criminal charges have been laid and grieving families have had nowhere to turn in their searches for answers. Six provinces have each introduced legislation that grants immunity to long-term care home operators from civil lawsuits related to Covid-19–British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia…
* Canada’s long-term care homes have worst record for Covid-19 deaths among wealthy nations says new report by Canadian Institute for Health Information, CBC News, Mar 30, 2021 …The study finds that the proportion of deaths in nursing homes represented 69 per cent of Canada’s overall Covid-19 deaths, significantly higher than the international average of 41 per cent. An estimated 14,000 residents of care homes have died from Covid-19…
* Pandemic’s toll on seniors in U.S. extends well beyond care homes, by Judith Graham, Kaiser Health News, Aug 6, 2021
Unvaccinated Canada: Who’s left behind, and why aren’t they getting their Covid-19 shots?, special report in Globe and Mail, Aug 1, 2021 Canada’s high overall Covid-19 vaccination rates are concealing pockets where less than half the population has received a first dose, most of them in small towns and rural, remote parts of the country. The low rates in small towns such as High Level, Alberta and the Rural Municipality of Stanley in southern Manitoba – both places where just 16 per cent of the total population have gotten first shots – are leaving residents vulnerable to the fast-spreading Delta variant as provincial governments lift restrictions. The holdouts are also making it difficult for the country to fully vaccinate 80 per cent of people 12 and over, a threshold Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Theresa Tam, said on Friday would be necessary to avoid overwhelming hospitals in the case of a Delta-fuelled fourth wave…
Canada news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, July 2021
Alberta’s plan to lift Covid-19 safety measures decried by medical experts, leaves many asking how to protect against the virus, news report in Globe and Mail, July 29, 2021 and read: news report in Toronto Star, July 29, 2021 …Alberta lags behind most other provinces in Canada when it comes to first doses administered, with only 63 per cent of the total population having received a dose as of July 17. That compares to 71 per cent in neighbouring British Columbia, and 69 per cent in Ontario. During the period from July 19 to July 25, Alberta had an R-value of 1.48, meaning that infections will continue to increase… [Alberta reported a total of 233 new cases of Covid-19 on July 29.].
* Alberta’s new Covid-19 policy ending safety restrictions is reckless and repugnant, commentary by Blake Murdoch, The Globe and Mail, July 29, 2021 (Blake Murdoch is an Edmonton-based senior research associate with the Health Law Institute.) Read the commentary here in pdf format: Alberta lifts Covid measures
* BC gov’t and its libertarian chief public health officer perform about-face on Covid safety measures for one region of the province. Report by CBC News, July 28, 2021 British Columbia is declaring a COVID-19 outbreak in the Central Okanagan after a rapid rise in cases in the region and is reimposing a local mask mandate, as well as other public health measures. More than half of B.C.’s [rising] daily and active COVID-19 cases are concentrated in the area… [British Columbia reported a total of 204 new cases of Covid-19 on July 29.]
Thousands could die and costs could reach billions if wildfire planning and response in Canada doesn’t change, scientists say, Canadian Press, July 29, 2021
Canada should reflect on its past and present struggles with racism, by Yuezhi Zhao , China Daily, July 29, 2021 (Yuezhi Zhao is a professor and Canada Research Chair in political economy of global communication at the School of Communication of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver BC.)
…The Communist Party of China, despite all the trials and tribulations, even grave mistakes, is in a position to tell the proud history of national liberation, a history in which the Chinese nation overthrew the “three mountains” of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism. On the Canadian side, however, history has brought up disturbing skeletons in 2021, so much so that Canadian flags were flying at half-staff on Canada Day (July 1)… What must be brought into sharp focus is not just Canada’s residential school system and its genocidal crimes but the entire colonial project of the West, with its crimes against humanity all over the world for more than 500 years…
[The anti-China Globe and Mail daily in Canada has jumped on the appearance of the above published commentary written by Chinese-Canada academic Yuezhi Zhao. A red-baiting style commentary is published in the Globe on July 29 by a seasoned Globe columnist. The columnist seeks to denigrate the commentary by writing that it appears in a “state-run” media outlet, as though state-run media outlets such as the CBC in Canada, BBC in Britain and Deutsche Welle in Germany are not omnipresent in Western imperialist countries, serving as faithful transmitters of government propaganda. He writes of “repression of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities in the northwestern province of Xinjiang” as fact, even though the accusation is a Western media and government construct. He writes, “Chinese officials have acknowledged that the birth rate across Xinjiang fell by nearly a third in 2018”, but any ‘change’ in birth rates of the Uyghur population occur in a context of a steadily rising Uyghur population, exposing the Western lie of a ‘genocide’ by the Chinese government against the Uyghurs. The Globe writer carefully avoids using the term ‘genocide’ in his litanny of accusations against the Chinese people and government even though no less than Canada’s Parliament endorsed the lying claim in a unanimous vote on February 22, 2021. He concludes his columnar tour de force with citations from several anti-China academics and former government officials in Canada.]
Canada’s hidden greenhouse gas emissions, by Fraser Thomson, The National Observer, July 27, 2021 (Fraser Thomson is a lawyer at Ecojustice, Canada’s largest environmental law charity.) …New data from Environment Canada — secured by Ecojustice — reveals just how rapidly Canada’s exported emissions are increasing. While Canada has stabilized its emissions at home, it is also exporting more emissions than ever before. Between 2012 and 2019, Canada’s exported emissions from the sale of oil, gas and coal increased an alarming 46.43 per cent…
There’s a ‘stink of desperation’ about Alberta’s public inquiry into ‘anti-Alberta’ energy campaigns, by Max Fawcett, columnist, National Observer, July 26, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: Alberta inquiry
Wildfires in British Columbia are now burning ten times more than in 1990s, by Barry Saxifrage, researcher and columnist, National Observer, July 27, 2021 This year’s wildfire season has exploded across British Columbia. The provincial government has declared a state of emergency. Hundreds of wildfires are burning and thousands of people are under evacuation order. One of those fires, the Lytton Creek wildfire, made international headlines when it burned the village of Lytton to the ground within hours of starting. That particular fire is still “out of control” and is threatening towns to the north. To illustrate the recent trend in wildfires and how this explosive wildfire year fits into it, I’ve created a series of charts using B.C.’s official greenhouse gas inventory and the latest wildfire statistics… Even more troubling, the amount of climate pollution being added to the atmosphere in BC is much greater than what this chart shows. That’s because it doesn’t include the massive and rising emissions from BC’s forests — both from human-caused climate impacts and logged wood. The government continues to exclude this climate pollution from its climate targets and policies. The reason given is that the forest is re-absorbing all that CO2 each year, meaning the forest and the wood logged from it is “carbon neutral”. But as I wrote in my last article, the government’s own data shows that forests stopped absorbing more CO2 than it emitted more than a decade ago…
Survey of results and attitudes of Canadians towards coronavirus vaccination, study published by Abacus Data, July 27, 2021 …84 per cent of adults in Canada accept being vaccinated, eight per cent are hesitant about it and eight per cent refuse…
Better to tell the ‘whole’ story of Afghanistan War as it unfolded, by Scott Taylor, publisher, weekly ‘On Target’ column in Esprit de Corps, July 27, 2021 …It must be remembered that the officials and members of the Confference of Defense Associations and the related Conference of Defence Associations Institute were not known for telling the “whole story of Afghanistan” while the war was in progress. The CDA and CDAI were among the primary cheerleaders of Canada’s Afghan military mission… When Canada announced it would be terminating the combat mission in 2011 and our training mission in 2014, those associated with the CDA squealed like stuck pigs…
Canada’s ‘Victims of Communism’ memorial under construction in Ottawa has received donations honouring fascists and Nazi collaborators, CBC News, July 23, 2021
* The ‘Memorial to the Victims of Communism’ in Ottawa should be bulldozed, by Davide Mastracci, editor, Passage, July 21, 2020
* Canada’s monuments commemorating Nazis, by Lev Golinkin, The Nation, July 21, 2020 Why does Canada have not one but several memorials to Nazi collaborators? And why, when statues are toppling all over the world, have Canadian Jewish groups remained silent?
Toronto police and city gov’t continue their assaults against homeless encampments. Report by CBC News, July 21, 2021
Related: The militarized assault continues against homeless people in Toronto, by Wendy Crowe, Rabble.ca, July 20, 2021
Judge in BC chooses vengeance over mercy in typical judgement of drug-dependent individual. Column in Vancouver Sun, July 21, 2021 Police and courts devote enormous resources in British Columbia to pursuing Canada’s veangeful and failed ‘war on drugs’. British Columbia is the epicenter of the government/police carnage.
* British Columbia is on track for deadliest year in ‘war on drugs’. Report in The Tyee, June 29, 2021 Five people are dying every day in the province on average, five years after the province declared a ‘public health emergency’ over the injection drug-poisoning epidemic
* Record 488 deaths from drug poisoning in Alberta during first four months of 2021, Calgary Herald, June 19, 2021 [By comparison, British Columbia recorded 688 drug poisonings during the same four month period. Alberta’s population is 4.4 million; it is 5.1 million in BC. In the U.S., pop. 328 million, there were 88,295 drug poisoning deaths (7,360 per month) for the 12 months ending August 2020, the latest year for which figures are available.]
Leaders of Nis’ga First Nation in north coastal BC announce partnership with gas fracking companies to build $10 billion liquefied natural gas project and related pipeline. Report by CBC News, July 19, 2021 [The projects’ proponents absurdly call it ‘net zero carbon emissions’ because it would be powered by the Site C hydroelectric dam boondoggle currently under construction in the northeast of the province. The dam is being built without environmental review and is opposed by the First Nations (see related articles below) whose territory the dam is destroying by flooding the Peace River and anticipated industrial expansion, including natural gas fracking.].
* Blueberry River First Nation in northeast British Columbia wins precedent-setting court ruling restricting rampant industrial development on its lands. Report by Emma Gilchrist, The Narwhal, June 30, 2021 The B.C. government breached the Treaty Rights of the Blueberry River First Nation says a new provincial court ruling that could have sweeping implications for rampant oil, gas, forestry and hydroelectric development in the northeastern part of the province…
* Blueberry River First Nation triumphs in court over B.C. government, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, July 1, 2021
* Two Indigenous-led LNG developments raise hopes of more West Coast natural gas export projects, National Post, June 30, 2021 After a string of cancelled liquefied natural gas projects in British Columbia, a pair of new proposals led by Indigenous groups is reinvigorating hope that additional Western Canadian natural gas exports to Asia could finally become a reality…
* Chief of Haida First Nation has high hopes for a newly proposed LNG project on BC coast, National Post, June 30, 2021
* Heedless BC Hydro paints rosy picture of Site C hydroelectric dam though costs revised to 50 per cent higher and serious doubts remain over dam’s weak foundation, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, July 5, 2021 …You will just have to take BC Hydro’s word for the state of the dam under construction becasue detailed project expenditures were removed from the version of the report released to the public, on the grounds of “confidentiality”. The utility provided only global figures to show how the budget for Site C, pegged at $10.7 billion when the New Democratic Party government in Victoria decided to continue construction in 2017, had grown to $16 billion as of the second green-lighting in February 2021…
[The Site C dam was and remains conceived as a project to fuel more natural gas fracking in northeast BC and hoped-for gas liquefaction export projects on the northern BC coast. Former premier Christy Clark let the cat out of the bag in 2016 when she blurted out that if sales for Site C’s electricity to industrial projects in BC faltered, the electricity could be sold to power Alberta tar sands projects. See: ‘Premier Clark’s proposal to ‘electrify the Alberta oilsands’ with Site C dam has an air of desperation’, by Carol Linnitt, The Narwhal, April 13, 2016 …“We could potentially electrify the oilsands, which would make the oilsands the cleanest oil produced anywhere on the globe,” Clark told an interview with Alaska Highway News. “If Canada wants to make an argument for our resources to find their way to market, let’s make them the cleanest in the world and let’s make that our brand.”…]
Nearly 300 wildfires are raging in British Columbia, CBC News, July 19, 2021 …While skies in B.C.’s Lower Mainland (Vancouver) are relatively clear and bright, smoke from the wildfires has blanketed most of the province… [To date, some 300,000 hectares of forest land have burned in Britih Columbia. That’s many times higher than in all of 2019 and 2020 combined. The years 2017 and 2018 were record years, with 1.2 milion hectares and 1.35 million hectares, respectively, burned in total. (source)].
Related: The Bootleg Fire in Oregon is so large, it’s creating its own weather, CNN, July 20, 2021 [The Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, near the California border, is the third largest in the state’s history and is spurred by months of drought and last month’s blistering heat wave. It is the largest wildfire so far this year in the United States, having already burned more than 340,000 acres (138,000 hectares) of forest and grasslands. It’s one of at least eight large fires burning in Oregon and one of at least 80 burning across 13 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The climate crisis has made deadlier and more destructive wildfires the new normal.]
Study using laser technology suggests Canada overlooks key sources of methane emissions, CBC News, July 15, 2021 …The research relied on laser technology mounted on a plane and flying over oil and gas sites in British Columbia in 2019. It suggests methane emissions are 1.6 to 2.2 times higher than current federal government estimates…
Trudeau urged to scrap purchase of ‘useless’ fighter jets as Canada faces threats from pandemics and climate change, by David Pugliese, columnist, Ottawa Citizen, July 14, 2021
Reference: No new fighter jets for Canada, open letter signed by 100 prominent Canadians, published on the website of the Foreign Policy Institute of Canada, July 2021
BC First Nation says more than 160 unmarked graves found near former residential school on Kuper (Penelakut) Island, CBC News, July 13, 2021 (three-minute video news report) and read: report by CTV News, July 13, 2021 [The residential school on Penelakut (formerly Kuper) Island was operated by the Catholic Church from 1890 to 1975. The island is a short ferry ride from the town of Chemainus on southern Vancouver Island and 60 km from Vancouver across the Salish Sea (Strait of Georgia).]
Canada’s pandemic warning system was understaffed and unready when Covid hit, review finds, CBC News, July 12, 2021 The final report on what went wrong with Canada’s Global Public Health Intelligence Network at the time the coronavirus pandemic was released today. The GPHIN is a multilingual monitoring system that scours the internet for reports of infectious diseases. But its resources and capacities were reduced in the years before 2020… The three-person panel — former national security adviser Margaret Bloodworth and health experts Dr. Paul Gully and Dr. Mylaine Breton — found that while the Public Health Agency of Canada had drafted a strategic surveillance plan in 2016 for detecting pandemics, “the plan never received formal approval.”…
The fall of Panjwaii in Kandahar province, Afghanistan leaves Canada’s Afghan war veterans asking whether their warmaking was worthwhile. Report by CBC News, July 10, 2021 read also: report in Toronto Star, July 13, 2021
The future of wildfires in Canada, by Kathryn Blaze Baum, environment reporter, and Ivan Semeniuk, science reporter, Globe and Mail, July 12, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: The future of wildfires in Canada After the deadly inferno that burned Lytton BC to the ground, experts are looking ahead at the blazes that climate change will likely make worse and more frequent – and the devastating impact smoke will have on Canadians’ health
Canada’s emissions increases since 2015 Paris agreement are the greatest among G7 countries, finds new report on Canada’s energy industry, media release by Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, June 1, 2021 …The report (60 pages), Canada’s Energy Sector: Status, evolution, revenue, employment, production forecasts, emissions and implications for emissions reduction, highlights that although oil and gas production is at record highs, the return in the form of jobs and government revenue have dramatically fallen. The report is co-published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Corporate Mapping Project, The Parkland Institute, Stand.earth, West Coast Environmental Law and 350.org…
The village of Lytton BC burned and people died. Who should pay?, by Michelle Gamage, The Tyee, July 13, 2021 …According to numbers from the Climate Accountability Network, less than 100 fossil fuel companies are responsible for two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions which caused man-made climate change. Three companies — Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Saudi Aramco — make up 10 per cent of those emissions…
* BC health and government authorities failed to warn residents of the killer heat wave that arrived on June 24 and lasted six days. By Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, July 9, 2021 [As with her understated Covid deaths estimate, the province’s libertarian chief medical officer is waving off concerns about the nearly 600 people who died from the heat wave for lack of warning and protection measures. She proudly claims her government issued a heat warning, but it came on the day the heat wave arrived and was not uniformly broadcast to the province’s residents!].
* Who is responsible for the deaths caused by the extreme heat wave in BC?, CBC News, July 7, 2021
* NDP government’s handling of the late-June heat wave needs critical review, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, July 6, 2021 As a heat wave that killed hundreds struck British Columbia on June 25, Premier Horgan told journalists he was feeling ‘jolly and giddy’ over reported declines in Covid-19 cases in the province and said residents should ‘take responsibility’ to protect themselves from the heat
* Global warming and the deadly heat wave that struck northwest North America, The Energy Mix (Ottawa), July 7, 2021 read also: report in Associated Press, July 7, 2021
* BC’s municipalities are not economically ready to weather natural disaster, commentary by Jeremy Stone (Simon Fraser U), The Tyee, July 7, 2021
Judge in Vancouver overseeing extradition drive against Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou into U.S. prison gulag rejects new evidence showing U.S. gov’t case is fabricated. Report by Canadian Press, July 9, 2021 Meng Wanzhou’s extradition trial is now set to recommence on August 3.
Lessons from the UK: Vaccinations may prevent a ‘fourth wave’ of pandemic negligence in Canada, Canadian Press, July 8, 2021 …In mid-May, the British government was approving the opening of restaurants and bars and taking other measures to lift pandemic restrictions. But in the weeks since, the Delta variant has pushed infections there from below 2,000 a day in the third week of May to more than 26,000 a day over the past week…
Alberta tar sands producers say it will cost $75 billion to achieve ‘net zero emissions’ and governments need to pay most of that. Report by Bloomberg News, July 8, 2021 …To achieve the goal announced last month of ‘net zero emissions’ by 2050 in Alberta oilsands production, about half of the emission cuts would need to come from capturing carbon at oilsands sites and sequestering it deep underground… [Tar sands industry production in Alberta emits nearly 70 million tons per year of CO2, some ten per cent of Canada’s total emissions.].
Related: Carbon capture and storage won’t work, says report out of UK, by Paul Brown, Climate News Network, Jan 14, 2021 One of the key technologies that governments hope will help save the planet from dangerous heating, carbon capture and storage, will not work as planned and is a dangerous distraction, a new report says. Instead of financing a technology they can neither develop in time nor make to work as claimed, governments should concentrate on scaling up proven technologies like renewable energies and energy efficiency, say researchers at the UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research… It is a complex and expensive process, and many of the schemes proposed in the 1990s have been abandoned as too expensive or too technically difficult. Currently, there are only 26 CCS plants operating globally, capturing about 0.1% of the annual global emissions from fossil fuels…
British Columbia’s chief public health officer declares end of mask-wearing requirements, stoking confusion and conflict. Report by CBC News, July 6, 2021
Previously reported: Chief public health officer of British Columbia dismisses scientific report finding twice the number of Covid deaths in the province compared to ‘official’ number, Vancouver Sun, June 30, 2021 [Earlier, the libertarian Dr. Bonnie Henry counselled against mandatory wearing of masks indoors for Covid protection until pressured to relent in November 2020.]
Coal production and exports surge in Canada though Trudeau-led gov’t calls it the ‘fuel of the previous century’, Financial Post, July 7, 2021
How Canada committed genocide against Indigenous peoples, by Fannie Lafontaine (Université Laval, Quebec City), published in The Conversation, June 11, 2021 (Fannie Lafontaine was the lead author of the legal analysis of genocide in the 2019 report by Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (final report here). The 46-page report, ‘A Legal Analysis of Genocide’, is here.)
Canadian governments have spent $23 billion supporting three pipelines since 2018, by Sharon Riley, The Narwhal, July 5, 2021 …The report by the The International Institute for Sustainable Development examines support in the form of direct transfers, loans, loan guarantees and other measures to three major pipeline projects, none of which have been completed: the Trans Mountain expansion [export of Alberta tar sands through the port of Vancouver], the now-cancelled Keystone XL [export of Alberta tar to processors in Texas] and Coastal GasLink [fracked gas from northeast BC to LNG plant(s) on northern BC coast]…
Related: Pipelines or progress: Government support for oil and gas pipelines in Canada, report by International Institute for Sustainable Development, July 5, 2021 (57 page report, find it at weblink) Oil and gas pipelines in Canada received over CAD 23 billion in Canadian government support over the past three years—including CAD 10 billion since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020. CAD 23 billion is likely an underestimate because calculating full levels of subsidies and other government support is impossible due to a lack of government transparency.
Heedless BC Hydro paints rosy picture of Site C hydroelectric dam though costs revised to 50 per cent higher and serious doubts remain over dam’s weak foundation, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, July 5, 2021 …You will just have to take BC Hydro’s word for the state of the dam under construction becasue detailed project expenditures were removed from the version of the report released to the public, on the grounds of “confidentiality”. The utility provided only global figures to show how the budget for Site C, pegged at $10.7 billion when the New Democratic Party government in Victoria decided to continue construction in 2017, had grown to $16 billion as of the second green-lighting in February 2021…
[The Site C dam was and remains conceived as a project to fuel more natural gas fracking in northeast BC and hoped-for gas liquefaction export projects on the northern BC coast. Former premier Christy Clark let the cat out of the bag in 2016 when she blurted out that if sales for Site C’s electricity to industrial projects in BC faltered, the electricity could be sold to power Alberta tar sands projects. See: ‘Premier Clark’s proposal to ‘electrify the Alberta oilsands’ with Site C dam has an air of desperation’, by Carol Linnitt, The Narwhal, April 13, 2016 …“We could potentially electrify the oilsands, which would make the oilsands the cleanest oil produced anywhere on the globe,” Clark told an interview with Alaska Highway News. “If Canada wants to make an argument for our resources to find their way to market, let’s make them the cleanest in the world and let’s make that our brand.”…].
* Blueberry River First Nation in northeast British Columbia wins precedent-setting court ruling restricting rampant industrial development on its lands. Report by Emma Gilchrist, The Narwhal, June 30, 2021 The B.C. government breached the Treaty Rights of the Blueberry River First Nation says a new provincial court ruling that could have sweeping implications for rampant oil, gas, forestry and hydroelectric development in the northeastern part of the province…
* Blueberry River First Nation triumphs in court over B.C. government, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, July 1, 2021
Two Indigenous-led LNG developments raise hopes of more West Coast natural gas export projects, National Post, June 30, 2021
Related: Chief of Haida First Nation has high hopes for a newly proposed LNG project on BC coast, National Post, June 30, 2021
Nearly 200 out-of-control wildfires burn across British Columbia, CBC News, July 5, 2021 …So far this season, more than 680 wildfires have been reported across BC, burning nearly 900 square kilometres [90,000 hectares] of land. That’s more than three times the ten-year average for area burned at this time of year… [According to the BC Wildfire Service, over the past ten years, on average, 1,356 wildfires have occurred and 347,104 hectares have burned over a full fire season. The years 2017 and 2018 were successive record years for wildfires in which a total of 2.6 million hectares of forest burned; in 2018, 2,117 fires burned 354,284 hectares of land.]
British Columbia Centre for Disease Control warns province’s residents to ‘prepare for the worst’ over wildfire smoke, Vancouver is Awesome, July 3, 2021 …Sarah Henderson, scientific director of Environmental Health Services at the BCCDC, says smoke has resulted from catastrophic wildfires n western North America every year from 2016 to 2020. “There is no reason to believe 2021 will be any different,” she says…
Steelworkers union opposes federal gov’t subsidy to phase out coal from steelmaking at Algoma Steel in Ontario, for all the wrong reasons. Report in National Post, July 5, 2021
Related: Large questions over Ottawa’s subsidies to convert Algoma Steel from coal-fired furnaces to electric arc. Report in Toronto Star, July 5, 2021
Western Canada burns and deaths mount after world’s most extreme heat wave in modern history, by Bob Henson and Jeff Masters, Yale Climate Connection, July 1, 2021 It’s not hype or exaggeration to call the past week’s heat wave the most extreme in world weather records.
Related: The future of fire in Canada, by Ed Struzik, The Tyee, July 5, 2021 We’re on the brink of a ‘runaway fire age.’ Here’s why. And how to respond. (Ed Struzik is a fellow at Queen University’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy and the author of the 2017 book Firestorm, How Wildfire Will Shape Our Future.)
Indigenous leaders reflect on solidarity march with First Nations in Winnipeg on Canada Day that drew thousands, saw statues of two British queens toppled. Report by Global News, July 2, 2021
Related: Two statues of queens Victoria and Elizabeth toppled at Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, The Art Newspaper, July 2, 2021 [The statue of Queen Victoria dates from 1904 and was the most prominent statue on the grounds of the Manitoba legislature. For days before being toppled, the statue had been covered in painted red hands, now a symbol of grieving and protest in Canada against the country’s ‘s past, genocidal residential school system.]
Two more churches burn in BC, bringing total number to seven, Vancouver Sun, July 2, 2021
* Rash of church fires across Canada, National Post, July 2, 2021
* Head of Catholic Church in Canada fuels more anger by saying the church is being persecuted over residential schools, Globe and Mail, July 2, 2021
Media applaud the new cold wars, ask could U.S. please be more aggressive, by Gregory Shupak, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, July 1, 2021
Related: Toronto Star joins Globe and Mail daily in featuring front page, McCarthyite-style attack against Chinese gov’t and people. See: ‘Canada’s public pension plan has invested millions in Chinese companies blacklisted in the U.S. over security concerns’, published on page one, Toronto Star, on July 2, 2021 [The Star article cites the U.S. gov’t as an authoritative source on action against China. It writes: U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order June 3 expanding a Trump-era ban barring American investments in 59 Chinese companies the U.S. government says have ties to that country’s military and surveillance apparatus. A statement from the White House said the companies named in Biden’s executive order “undermine the security or democratic values of the United States and our allies”.]
Canada building a global network of military bases in aggressive shift, by Martin Lukacs, The Breach, June 29, 2021 The Canadian military has spent the past ten years establishing a global network of bases in order to “project combat power” under the influence and leadership of the United States, documents obtained by The Breach reveal. The bases in Kuwait, Senegal and Jamaica have been used as staging grounds for military operations and “counter-terrorism” trainings throughout Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean…
Heat wave in British Columbia likely killed nearly 500 people, CBC News, July 2, 2021 [The chief coroner for British Columbia is reporting 719 sudden and unexpected deaths for the six days of June 25 to 30. That’s triple the normal number for such a time period. June 25 was the first day of a brutal heat wave that moved eastward out of Vancouver after four days and lingered in the province until July 2].
* Scientists call heat wave in northwest North America’s the ‘most extreme in world weather records’, Common Dreams, July 2, 2021
* Global experts react to record temperature set in western Canada, Washington Post, June 30, 2021 The all-time high of 49 degrees Celsius (121 F) set in Lytton, British Columbia on June 29 has left weather and climate experts all over the world shocked, speechless and deeply concerned about the future of the planet…
* Village of Lytton BC shocked the world’s meteorologists with record-high temperatures. Now a wildfire has burned it to the ground. Report in Globe and Mail, July 1, 2021 read the report here in pdf format: Lytton BC burned by wildfire [Lytton set records three days in a row for highest temperatures ever recorded in Canada, topping out at 49.6C on June 29. That surpasses the highest temperature ever recorded in Las Vegas. Nowhere else in the world north of the 37th parallel has ever been hotter in recorded times. That’s the border between Colorado and New Mexico or Utah and Arizona. The town and surrounding area has a population of some 2,000 and is located some 250 km north of Vancouver and 200 km inland from the Pacific Ocean.].
* Extensive photos of the wildfire disaster, here in Global News
Blueberry River First Nation in northeast British Columbia wins precedent-setting court ruling restricting rampant industrial development on its lands. Report by Emma Gilchrist, The Narwhal, June 30, 2021 The B.C. government breached the Treaty Rights of the Blueberry River First Nation says a new provincial court ruling that could have sweeping implications for rampant oil, gas, forestry and hydroelectric development in the northeastern part of the province…
Related: Blueberry River First Nation triumphs in court over B.C. government, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, July 1, 2021
Canada’s coming crisis with Indigenous peoples, by Geoff Russ, The Tyee, July 1, 2021 (Geoff Russ is a journalist, writer and member of the Haida Nation on the northern coast of British Columbia.)
Related commentary: July 1, Canada Day, celebrates the start of the worst days of our oppression as Indigenous peoples, commentary by Robert Jago, Toronto Star, July 1, 2021 read the commentary here in pdf format: July 1, Canada Day
…The Canadian state, the creature that was birthed on July 1, 1867, is not something that should be celebrated. Canada Day is the birthday of a child abuser, a human trafficker – a state that committed these crimes itself and that recruited churches to help it, as part of its scheme to murder a culture and seize the inheritance of generations… The celebration of Canada marks the start of the worst days of our oppression…
Race, poverty and the missed Covid deaths in Canada, The Tyee, June 30, 2021 The number of Canadians who died of Covid-19 could be twice as high as reported, according to a new preliminary report (54 pages) by the Royal Society of Canada (Ottawa) released on June 28. The peer-reviewed report estimates that at least 6,000 Covid deaths prior to November 2020 were likely not attributed to the virus, meaning about two-thirds of deaths outside long-term care and hospital settings were missed. And if unattributed Covid-19 deaths continued at the same pace since then, Canada’s pandemic death toll could be closer to 52,000 people, double the 26,000 plus deaths recorded so far… British Columbia’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the report should be taken “with a grain of salt.” In response to Henry’s comments, report co-author Dr. Tara Moriarty said limited up-to-date cause of death data in that province makes it difficult to assess how many COovid-19 deaths may have been misattributed to other causes…
Related: Chief public health officer of British Columbia dismisses scientific report finding twice the number of Covid deaths in the province compared to ‘official’ number, Vancouver Sun, June 30, 2021 [The libertarian Bonnie Henry famously counselled against mandatory wearing of masks indoors for Covid protection until pressured to relent in November 2020.]
When Chinese in Canada were numbered, interrogated and excluded, by Christopher Cheung, The Tyee, July 1, 2021 Systemic racism left a paper trail. A century later, researchers are hunting for the evidence. (Christopher Cheung reports on urban issues for The Tyee.)