Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dear Steve,

I know that you are indebted to Suncor et al, but really was it necessary to destroy a report from the parliamentary standing committee on Environment and Sustainable Development? What are you hiding? Don't the Conservatives have a majority on that committee? Could it be that even members of your own party have no other conclusion than the mining of oil sands will mean disaster for the watershed?

It was all on As it Happens:


As the anti-oilsands campaign mounts in the U.S., Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach should take a page out of the federal government's book. Just take the ads placed by his opponents -- and destroy them.

For eighteen months, Ottawa's Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development has been investigating pollution caused by oilsands development. The Committee heard testimony from a number of experts -- including environmentalists, people in the oil industry, aboriginal leaders, and scientists with Environment Canada. MPs even took the time to travel to Calgary, Edmonton and Fort McMurray to hear from witnesses.

What they learned wasn't good. But Canadians will never really get to know the full story. Because last month, the government took their final draft report -- and quietly destroyed it.

All we're left with now are the transcripts of the testimony. By law, the government is required to make them public. Andrew Nikiforuk, the author of "Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent", has read the transcripts. We reached him in Calgary.

For a peak at Mr. Nikiforuk's view of the tar sands, watch him here:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dear Canada,

In an age when we are facing increasing concerns about food safety, when the family farm is disappearing, when most of the food in our grocery stores is from another country - why is no one talking about Canadian farming?

It's not glamorous, but given a renewed interest in farmer's markets and local produce, it's time to think about our food. The NDP have created an extensive report, called Food for Thought: Towards a Canadian Food Strategy.

What could be more important than food? The next Governor General? The World Cup? An octopus named Paul? Some basketball player set to earn $100million for a season of play? Increasingly the topics in the news seem insignificant and irrelevant to my daily life.

Wouldn't it be great if politicians actually did something significant and relevant, rather than all of their bullshit posturing?

(While on the subject of farming, here's our local family-run farm...Cooper's CSA. That is Community Supported Agriculture, see link for details.)