Trudeau on Forest Fire Tragedy

The Prime Minister spoke about forest fires’ connection to climate change at a community affected by a massive evacuation due in part to climate change.

“The reality of climate change is that we’re going to see more and more extreme weather events and we need to make sure that as a country we’re properly equipped to deal with these challenges.”

Trudeau said he expects a better collaboration between all levels of government on resources, training and funding when it comes to fires.

Fast forward a few months to this week.

Responding to comments made earlier, Trudeau said May’s suggestion that the disaster was “very related to the global climate crisis” was neither helpful, nor accurate. […]

“It’s well known that one of the consequences of climate change will be a greater prevalence of extreme weather events around the planet,” Trudeau told reporters at a news conference.

“However, any time we try to make a political argument on one particular disaster, I think it’s a bit of shortcut that can sometimes not have the desired outcome. There have always been fires.

Yeesh.

The Trudeau government was also advised when it was sworn in last November that wildfires were getting worse. The bureaucrats at Natural Resources Canada told their new minister, Jim Carr, that governments across the country hadn’t provided enough funding to help communities prepare for the worst.

The provincial, territorial and federal governments developed a Canadian Wildlands Fire Strategy in 2005, calling for “more resilient communities, improving fire management approaches to balance ecological integrity with protection of life and property, and implementing modern business practices.”

But Carr was told that governments didn’t invest enough money to support that strategy in the last decade.

“Governments remain supportive of the Strategy, but progress towards implementation over the past decade has been limited, primarily due to fiscal constraints,” said briefing notes, prepared for Carr.

“The frequency and severity of wild land fires have been trending upwards in the past few decades and summer 2015 was particularly severe. As a result, there have been calls from the public, communities and provinces for increased federal involvement in wildfire management.”

David Schindler, a University of Alberta scientist who studies the ecology of inland bodies of water, said there have been increasingly favourable conditions for forest fires in recent years. He noted that climate scientists have been predicting the increase in forest fires for at least a decade.

Despite the obvious drought conditions (we got almost no snow last Winter), the federal government wasn’t warning people of the extreme danger.

Wildfires briefing by mikedesouza
https://www.scribd.com/book/311550761/Wildfires-briefing

Hat tip to Daniel.

Things Trudeau Must Do

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has to do several things this year:

  • legalize pot
  • reform elections
  • MMIW inquiry
  • get renewable energy products into the hands of people you know

If he fails to complete, or make meaningful progress on this list by Christmas time of 2016, I think he’ll de-inspire many of the fresh new Liberal Party supporters, and put people back to sleep. We’ll start focusing on American politics, and it’ll be almost as if Stephen Harper never left.

The jury is still out on his Environment and Climate Change Minister McKenna too. While I’m impressed by her open communication style (Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), and her cycle advocacy, her recent talk about national unity over reducing pollution is concerning.

Metrics I think you can use to tell if Trudeau is making real change happen:
-If you can (legally) buy someone something made from marijuana this Christmas.
-If you know someone you’d regard as Conservative, who is speaking with more compassion about the plight of Indigenous women in our violent society.
-If you hear someone you thought was disengaged politically explaining the benefits of electoral reform and proportional representation.
-If you know someone who’s used an electric car, bus, or bike, or bought a solar panel system, or cut their home water use by 30% or more.

A Fine Bigger Than Most Crimes – #PanamaPapers

Canada’s rich and powerful do not fear the media, and they do not have their names in the newspapers (some owned by foreign investment funds) when fined more than a million dollars for a crime much larger than that.

Picture yourself as a criminal. Imagine you’ve robbed a store of over $10,000 in cash during a nighttime heist. You get caught. Does your name appear in the newspaper? The bank’s crime’s fine was 110 times bigger than the imagined theft, yet they have their identity protected. Why?

== Continue reading

Wall Can’t Cut Pollution? Cut the Crap.

WEYBURN, Sask. – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says a federal government cannot tax a provincial government and that might play a role in any potential national carbon tax.

Wall says he might be able to make the case that Ottawa can’t impose a carbon tax on SaskPower because it’s a Crown corporation.

OK, let’s play along in Wall’s fantasy and say Ottawa can’t “tax” the plant. They can limit pollution though, and since coal can’t cut its pollution, it simply has to close or pay large fines until SaskPower is out of money to convert our system to something clean like solar, wind, and geothermal. One way or another, the Conservatives’ restriction on coal plants is coming if not earlier if the Liberals revise the deadline. Lives are at stake, and Wall is making noises that he wants to drag his heels on saving them.

Microwaste, Big Problem

I phoned Johnson & Johnson about why they continue to sell products with microbeads after Parliament started to vote last year toward creating a law to ban their sale.

“Consumers have until March 10 to make their views known, as Environment Canada works out a timetable for eliminating the environmental pollutant.”

email: ec.produits-products.ec@canada.ca

The customer care rep had no specific information, and hadn’t heard about the forthcoming ban on microbeads the Conservatives started to pursue the day before the election call last year. I said it was in the country’s biggest newspaper yesterday. He indicated that once they are banned, naturally sale of them would cease and they wouldn’t try to include them, or hold out. I asked he check with his supervisors if efforts are being made to remove the unsafe beads from their products immediately now that we know they are an unsafe product. He’s going to check, and have someone email me back.

You can call them too to register your concern at 1-800-361-8068

They Voted For Heads On Pikes

Killing people, even vilified monsters like ISIS militants, exacts a harsh toll on normally healthy people in the military.

Conservatives in America are even more deranged than the Canadian variety, I’d reckon, based on what I’ve encountered online anyway.

Conservatives Failed to Protect Privacy

The Liberals record? Not much better.

“I can’t answer the question about the former government, what their reasons were,” said Sajjan, also noting he does not believe any of the metadata inadvertently shared could have ended up in the hands of any countries beyond the Five Eyes.