Environment and sustainability

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(Vancouver) The Site C dam is not necessary, and moving forward to completion is likely to have adverse impacts on BC Hydro and ratepayers of all classes. That is the conclusion of a submission to the BC Utilities Commission’s (BCUC) consultations on the proposed Site C Dam, authored by Senior Economist Marc Lee from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office (CCPA-BC).
This brief focuses on the economic questions about Site C posed by the BC government to the BCUC. Informed by the economics of energy transition, it examines the links between the proposed Site C dam and fossil fuel extraction, and raises questions about the need for the electricity Site C would produce.
Illustration by Remie Geoffroi Can we finally admit it? The world really does love Justin Trudeau.
Illustration by Raymond Biesinger
The Trudeau government has shone internationally on a progressive message of tolerance, openness, diversity and inclusive, sustainable economic growth. It says it wants to make globalization fair for everyone, and that, as the prime minister tweeted, Canada welcomes all people “fleeing persecution, terror & war.” But on a number of files the government has bent itself into a pretzel trying to square its beliefs with its actions. An underlying theme throughout this issue of the Monitor is the empty gesture.
This expanded version of the Monitor summer reading guide takes a break from frenetic social media feeds to assess the fluctuating political and economic reality from a place of relative stability: books. Rather than just telling us what they will be reading this summer, contributors ground longer arguments about the state of the world in recent Canadian and international non-fiction releases with a connection to the CCPA’s underlying mandate: to promote social, economic and environmental justice.
In early May, evidence emerged that natural gas companies had built dozens of large dams during a poorly regulated building spree. As many as 60 large earthen structures were bulldozed into place by fossil fuel companies—without first getting the required authorizations from provincial authorities.
When the provincial government created the Oil and Gas Commission in 1998, it did much more than open a “one stop shop” for speedy oil and gas industry approvals; it also set British Columbia on a collision course with First Nations. The consequences of that collision course are more apparent with each passing day, and are most evident in a potentially precedent-setting civil suit launched by the Blueberry River First Nation (BRFN), whose territory overlays northeast BC’s richest natural gas play—the Montney basin.
This paper looks at the growing concerns that First Nations in British Columbia have with the fossil fuel industry’s increasing need for large volumes of water for natural gas fracking operations.

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