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Posts Tagged ‘Tar Sands

Tar Sands export routes across North America – Maps

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Will this fossil fuel export proposition be the final nail in humanity’s climate change coffin or the spark for real change? It’s up to you.

Idle No More.

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Tar Sands Pipelines in North America – [From Kinder Morgan Pipeline Route Maps | Wilderness Committee]

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Written by Sean Bozkewycz

February 15, 2013 at 08:55

C-45 Summary – A must-read if you are Canadian (and even if you’re not)

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A ‘MUST READ’ – IF YOU ARE CANADIAN

The Public Service Alliance of Canada has expressed concern over a raft of legislative changes being pushed through by the Canadian government that could negatively affect the environment and people’s rights, part of a drive to sell out the country to fossil fuel companies and foreign countries.

If you don’t think there is much to worry about, we suggest a trip to the Tar Sands in Alberta or any of the thousands of communities being poisoned by pollution.

The following comes from – psac-afpc.com – We suggest you take a moment to read through this.

The Conservative government is pushing through hundreds of pages of major legislative changes without consulting Canadians.
PSAC has major concerns with the latest budget implementation bill, C-45. Our concerns echo the criticism being expressed by the opposition parties, environmental, scientific and Aboriginal groups. We join the call for Bill C-45 to be split into parts and debated separately.
Many of these legislative changes will have a drastic impact on Canadians and should not be rushed through Parliament without time for careful consideration, public scrutiny and debate.

Fisheries Act

New changes to the Fisheries Act build on changes in the spring omnibus legislation which further undermines Canada’s ecology and removes legal barriers to oil, pipeline and other developers. Four former fisheries ministers as well as countless scientists have publicly opposed these amendments. Currently resource developers have to receive authorization under the Act when their projects damage lakes, rivers or other fish habitat. They must also specify the corrective action. Under these new changes, the developer will no longer be responsible for fixing the environmental and habitat damage they cause.

Indian Act

The amendments to the Indian Act are clearly designed to give the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs access over First Nations’ lands and undue influence on vulnerable communities. The key amendment to the Act gives the government authority to determine the surrender of any portion of any First Nation territory at any given time.
This clause is in direct contravention of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which calls for the “free, prior and informed consent” of all Indigenous peoples exercising their right of self-determination.

The Navigable Waters Protection Act

The Navigable Waters Protection Act will be amended to reduce its scope to less than one percent of Canadian waters. The new law will restrict federal oversight to the three oceans that border Canada and to a mere 97 lakes and 62 rivers.
The traditional territories of Aboriginal peoples’ will be at the greatest risk of environmental exploitation as the law was designed to provide quick development access to resource extraction industries, a great number of which operate on First Nations’ land.

Canada Grain Act

Bill C-45 contains amendments to the Canada Grain Act that will remove regulations that protect independent grain producers, increase self regulation, and decrease inspections.
The changes will also jeopardize the quality of Canada’s internal and external grain supply by removing the requirement for inward inspection – a process put in place to ensure producers are paid for the quality and quantity of their grain and not cheated by international grain companies.
These amendments threaten the livelihood of independent producers while further protecting the rights of the global conglomerates. For more information on these changes, see the submission made by the union to the government.

CRA Act

The Canada Revenue Agency was created in 1999 as a separate, independent employer from Treasury Board. Over time, the CRA and the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) have worked hard to develop a harmonious working relationship, allowing the negotiation of two consecutive collective agreements before the expiry date of the previous agreement.
Changes, to the Canada Revenue Agency Act will put the CRA back under the authority of Treasury Board who will oversee CRA’s negotiating mandate as well as certain terms and conditions of employment. This change contradicts the specific reasons why the CRA was created and approved by Parliament – a better way of doing business for Canadians and creating a more beneficial labour relationship. The union will be contacting the government and the opposition parties to demonstrate their opposition to these changes.

Public Sector pensions

Unilateral amendments to public sector pension plans include increasing the normal retirement age from 60 to 65 for new hires beginning in 2013. PSAC opposes this bill because it is an attack on younger generations who make up the majority of new hires in the public service.
The increase in the retirement age will generate a two tier system, creating inequities between young and older workers in the public service, forcing younger workers to retire at an older age. The public service pension plan is sustainable and there is no reason to penalize young workers.

PSAC calls on the government to focus on strengthening pensions for all Canadians instead of weakening pension plans and retirement security for Canadians dedicated to public service.

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 24, 2013 at 16:10

Posted in Uncategorized

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Idle No More: What do we want and where are we headed?

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Across the world, Indigenous and colonial peoples alike are heeding the call from Canada’s First Nations – to be Idle No More.

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But what is it exactly that they stand for?

In Canada, the Harper regime (which won a second term of ‘majority’ government with only 24% of the eligible vote amid serious and unresolved allegations of electoral fraud) has been busy compiling hundreds of pieces of legislation into Omnibus bills, ostensibly budget related, so as to sneak them past the electorate and the usual democratic processes of debate.

Within these illegitimate omnibus bills the Harper conservatives have hidden major revamps of environmental legislation that has, for example, reduced the number of protected Canadian streams, lakes and rivers from millions to just hundreds. Deep in the pocket of the oil and gas industry, Harper’s most egregious changes remove barriers and limitations on tar sands development.

It doesn’t stop there. Knowing that most economically profitable resources are buried beneath un-ceded Indigenous territory, Harper has ‘proceeded with an aggressive legislative agenda that will include upwards of 14 bills that will devastate our First Nations in various ways.’

The Indigenous response? Idle No More. Pamela Palmater explains:

‘First Nations represent Canadians last best hope at stopping Harper from unfettered mass destruction of our shared lands, waters, plants and animals in the name of resource development for export to foreign countries like China. Why? Because only First Nations have constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights which mandate Canada to obtain the consent of First Nations prior to acting. These rights are also protected at the international level with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.’

Read the entire article by Pamela Palmater here: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/pamela-palmater/2013/01/what-idle-no-more-movement-really

How and why can you get involved with Idle No More? http://thetyee.ca/Life/2013/01/19/Idle-No-More-List/

PS. One of the comments beneath this article is worth addressing briefly:

Submitted by tdot on January 9, 2013 – 12:51pm.

Dear Madam,
You ask the government “This means Canada must respect our sovereignty and get out of the business of managing our lives.” Does this also mean the government should stop giving your nation billions of dollars? If a specific reserve in your nation after being given hundreds of millions of dollars allows its people to live in abject poverty and asks for more money (despite not accounting for the millions it did receive), the government should just give your nation more money? Isn’t this the opposite of what you want?

In response, I would say that while Canadian governments are making billions in tax revenue by allowing and assisting Canadian and foreign companies to profit from the resources on Turtle Island, I think it is fair that the people of Turtle Island receive something in return.

– S

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 24, 2013 at 06:36