Time's running out!
Good morning. If you spent Friday unplugged, you missed the latest on the SNC-Lavalin situation — there's a tape.
Jody Wilson-Raybould recorded her conversation with the country's top mandarin less than a month before being removed as justice minister/attorney general and demoted in a cabinet shuffle. She admitted that her decision to record was inappropriate, but said that she was alone and wanted to have a record of what she anticipated would be an inappropriate conversation.
"I am just issuing the strongest warning I can possibly issue," she is heard saying.
Wilson-Raybould's latest bombshell also reveals a strange, but false tale that a senior aide to Prime Minister Trudeau told about Brian Mulroney and Kim Campbell to make their case.
You can read about it or listen to the recording yourself here.
One of Canada’s most notorious climate deniers landed a job from Premier Doug Ford this week. Joe Oliver, former Harper cabinet minister, was appointed to the board that oversees Ontario’s electricity system.
The appointment came just one day after Oliver penned a no-holds-barred climate denial screed, published by Postmedia’s Financial Post.
Oliver claims that predictions of temperature change, ice melting and other climate impacts have failed to materialize. He cites just one scientist — a noted physicist... who died in 1988. The day after Postmedia published Oliver’s invective, the World Meteorological Association released its annual report showing “accelerating climate impacts” which have already caused an increase of many millions of people suffering from climate impacts and “displaced” from their homes.
Also in Ontario, the independent environment commissioner issued her last report (the office, along with two other watchdogs, has been axed by the Ford government). Dianne Saxe called the current situation “very frightening,” noting that both pollution and energy bills are on the upswing under the new government.
There’s never a dull week for Doug Ford. The premier also made a big splash at the country’s preeminent annual gathering for conservatives. National Observer takes you inside the Manning Networking Conference where conservatives embraced populism, raged at Trudeau, and talked separation.
In Ottawa, a progressive crowd heard from a survivor of the horrific Parkland shooting and she had a message for Canada's gun lobby: Stop behaving like the NRA.
Chrystia Freeland targets white supremacists
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland didn’t mince words at the UN Security Council, calling out white supremacism as “one of the most serious terrorist threats of the current age.”
Freeland said she felt an obligation to speak out following the attack in New Zealand:
- “In the wake of acts of terrorism carried out by Muslim extremists, Western countries often call upon Muslim countries and Muslim leaders to condemn those attacks in the name of their people and their faith," she said.
- "It should follow that, as the foreign minister of a majority white and majority Christian country, I feel a specific and personal responsibility to denounce white supremacist attacks in the same way.”
Freeland’s remarks come one day after Facebook announced it would ban support for white nationalism from its social media platforms. Last week, a far-right protest in Toronto by Patriots of Canada Against the Islamization of The West (Pegida Canada), was overshadowed by a counter-protest which stopped the anti-Muslim group from spreading its message.
First Nations Forward
Emilee Gilpin has spent the last couple of weeks with the Tŝilhqot'in Nation in northern B.C. as part of the First Nations Forward series. She’s produced two beautiful multimedia packages, perfect for weekend reading. Or, if you prefer, Emilee has recorded audio versions (perfect for weekend listening).
Travel vicariously to the Dasiqox Tribal Park, created one month after the Tŝilhqot'in won their historic title fight in the Supreme Court, and hear how“Clean energy aligns with who we are as Indigenous people.”
Or hear directly from the community about their ‘spiritual war’ to protect land, water, rights. The Tŝilhqot'in Nation is at spiritual war with Taseko Mines which has been trying for decades to build what would be the world's largest copper and gold mine at a sacred elevated lake the nation knows as Teztan Biny. Although the mine has been rejected twice at the federal level, it now has the green light for a drilling program, forcing the nation back to court to seek an injunction.
If you’re interested in following the series behind the scenes and connecting with other inspiring initiatives, check out the new First Nations Forward Twitter account, @ForwardNations
The pesticide industry has plans for you
Carl Meyer threw back the curtain on the pesticide industry's strategy to change the way you think. Carl got hold of secret plans developed for the industry by the international PR firm, Edelman.
It’s the third in a three-part series on pesticides in Canada. Carl’s been paying particular attention to glyphosate, a key ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup which several recent American court cases have determined to be causing cancer. Here are Carl’s two previous articles:
- Fired Quebec scientist blew the whistle on pesticide lobby influence
- Dying from cancer, this man's case has stunning repercussions in Canada
(In an interesting postscript, the fired Quebec scientist/whistleblower is now running for the leadership of the organization of professional agronomists to balance the influence of pesticide lobby.)
Banking on a future
Earlier this week, Kevin Quinlan wondered aloud why no one at the Bank of Canada had uttered the words 'climate risk' for the last two years. That's a stark contrast to other central banks including the Bank of England, run by Canada's Mark Carney. The answer was swift — the very next day, Governor Stephen Poloz announced that the bank was committing to probe climate liabilities.
Ellen Page against the fossil lobby
Nova Scotia’s Ellen Page has thrown her celebrity status behind an effort to stop AltaGas from dumping brine into a major river in Nova Scotia. Page joins a long-running fight by Mi’kmaq water protectors and non-native allies. National Observer reported that the feds are currently drafting a special set of rules which would allow the company to go ahead after taking 22 lobby meetings with AltaGas in the past year.
Editor's note: This article was updated at 7:29 a.m. ET on April 1, 2019 to correctly identify it as an opinion piece and not a news article.