Monday, August 23, 2010

Canadian Fish-wrap News Wrap

Starting with a completely great story from the Calgary Herald about ...Calgary's Motive Industries, which announced it would introduce an electric car whose bio-composite body is made from hemp.

 The prototype of the four-passenger, zero-emission vehicle, known as the Kestrel, is to be unveiled at an electric mobility trade show in Vancouver in September and would be the first of its kind in Canada (my brother has been telling me about this possibility for some time now).

Another good news story from out west is that five years after a huge caustic soda spill, the Cheakamus river teems with life: Over the last five years, with luck, the dedication of a broad base of volunteers, and millions of CN dollars invested in the recovery, much of the aquatic life is returning in numbers approaching prespill levels.

Beyond committing a total of $5.3-million or more in funds to at least 2015, CN has expanded its recovery focus beyond the immediate river, recognizing that migrating Cheakamus salmon also rely on the health of the Squamish estuary, the point at which the Squamish River drains into the Pacific Ocean.

From the Calgary Herald's Kelly Cryderman, a story about the Alberta government's plans to set aside 20 percent (or more) of the landscape in Alberta's oilsands region that would be for conservation purposes. It has the look of window dressing to address the bad publicity the tar-sands project has been receiving internationally.

George Poitras, former chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, said for the past four years, his band has been asking for a moratorium on all new oilsands approvals and expansions."Twenty per cent in my opinion is way too little," Poitras said.

The government has said they will consult with first nations on the reclamation processes -- something that Poitras dismisses as a "public relations exercise."


Andrew Nikiforuk at The Tyee writes an in-depth piece about the potential costs of the tar-sands to Canadians and how they rearranged Canadian economy and diminished the nation's economic diversity and resilience -- profits from this enterprise exist but are only for the few.

Again from the Herald, in the wake of the government's decision to not bring back Pat Strogan, an op-ed that describes the government as being at war with its veterans. That never looks good.

In an effort to display their common sense the Canadian government released document showing they turned down a direct plea from NATO to send more troops into southern Afghanistan in the run-up to last year's Afghan presidential election.

Here's a graph that illustrates the absolute ungratefulness of our NATO allies: NATO sources in Kabul said U.S. commanders in particular don't understand how their northern neighbour could have produced over 4,000 troops for peacekeeping in the Balkans in the 1990s — a time of budget restraint — and yet claim the well is dry while fighting a war. They question Canada's short rotation system of six-month deployments and nearly year-long training programs for each battle group. Nine freaking years and they behave like we're pikers! How much sacrifice do they want from our kids for their war on the other side of the planet?

And last but not least, from Toronto where 300 people facing G20-related charges appeared at a Toronto courthouse Monday, a legal tidal wave resulting from the largest mass arrests in Canadian history. Don't forget that the original  "security" bill for this fiasco was more than $1 billion dollars -- this nonsense just adds to the cost.

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