Hello fellow energy users of the world,
“Unlike the United States which has a floundering, in fact, a failed energy policy under the corrupt leadership of President Barack Obama, in Canada the citizens rejoice that their government leverages energy to pay for health care and many other aspects of their lives with responsible environmental policies.” (Opinion – Editor Kenn Weeks)
While most Canadians are either looking the other way, or wringing their hands concerning their opinions about what they perceive to be the un-Democratic energy policies of Canada’s Conservative Government, the Aboriginal community is stepping up to protect the interests of Canadians.
The Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, or FIPPA, was signed last year. It was coming up for ratification in Ottawa last fall when the Hupacasath First Nation filed an action in Federal Court.
This 300 member band is seeking an injunction on the grounds that, before signing any international agreement that could affect treaty rights, the government has an obligation to consult First Nations.
The band said they are opposed to the deal because it gives foreign investors powerful rights that undermine the ability of First Nations to say no to resource development.
For example, China could sue Canada for damages if the band stopped the company from cutting timber on its traditional territory, and if First Nations in northern British Columbia put up a blockade to the proposed Enbridge pipeline, that could open Canada to lawsuits by Chinese investors in Alberta’s Oil Sands.
In late October 2012, four women in Saskatchewan began exchanging emails about Bill C-45, which had just been introduced in Ottawa. The bill was introduced by Stephen Harper’s government on Oct. 18, titled, “A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012, and other measures.”
The act passed and then received royal assent on Dec. 14 and is now known as the “Jobs and Growth Act, 2012.” Jessica Gordon, Sheelah McLean, Sylvia McAdams and Nina Wilsonfeld were the four women who were concerned the bill would erode indigenous rights. The concerns brought forward by these women created a national native led movement dubbed, “Idle No More”.
Bill C-45 is better known as the second omnibus budget bill. The act changes the legislation contained in 64 acts or regulations. The act itself runs over more than 400 pages.
The changes that most concern the grass roots Idle No More movement are the ones to these acts:
Indian Act: First Nations communities can now lease designated reserve lands if a majority attending a meeting called for that purpose vote to do so, regardless of how many people show up. Previously, approval required the support of a majority of eligible voters.
The Aboriginal Affairs Minister can call the meeting to consider surrendering band territory. The minister can choose to ignore a resolution from the band council that’s in opposition to a decision at the meeting.
Idle No More says these changes allow “for easier opening of treaty lands and territory.”
Navigation Protection Act: Under the act, major pipeline and power line project advocates aren’t required to prove their project won’t damage or destroy a navigable waterway it crosses, unless the waterway is on a list prepared by the transportation minister. Idle No More claims the amendments remove that protection for 99.9 per cent of lakes and rivers in Canada. This has since been passed and ratified by the Canadian government.
Environmental Assessment Act: The first omnibus budget bill had already overhauled the assessment process and the second one reduces further the number of projects that would require assessment under the old provisions. Idle No More objects to the faster approval process.
It has become obvious that the Harper government is more interested in providing easy accommodation to big oil companies than it is in maintaining Canada’s clean environment. Recently, the government withdrew funding from the Experimental Lakes Area, the world’s leading freshwater research centre, which has done groundbreaking work on acid rain, household pollutants and much more.
Apparently, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans can’t find the $2 million per year required to run the facility, though it has access to the $50 million needed to remediate the lakes in the area upon the centre’s closing.
It is a bewildering decision that calls into question whether the government’s motivations are, as it claims, fiscal, or whether the Conservatives are instead trying to silence a source of inconvenient data.
With the Harper government’s history of muzzling federally funded scientists, complaints have grown. Seven federal departments and agencies, from Environment Canada to the National Research Council of Canada, have been told Information Commissioner, Suzanne Legault’s office plans to act on these complaints about “the systematic efforts by the Government of Canada to obstruct the right of the media – and through them, the Canadian public – to timely access to government scientists.” Federal scientists have been “muzzled” and the tactics the government has been using to control discussion about everything from the oil sands to polar bears.
In 2012, the Harper government’s environmental policies showed a commitment to pursuing short-term economic gain, at a great long-term cost. We need something better than austerity at the expense of the environment and obscurantism at the expense of democracy.
There is an important debate to be had about how to negotiate between the economic potential of Canada’s natural resources and the environmental cost of exploiting them that my country is engaging in.
Thus, while Canadians hope that other Canadians will step up to put a stop to our current out-of-control federal government, the Aboriginal community will not let Harper and his cronies bully the people. Canada’s First Nations have become Canada’s Environmental Police Force.
Counter Point by Kenn:
Sadly, in the United States, President Barack Obama and his liberal Democrat allies have chosen false rhetoric to whip some citizens into a frenzy thereby tricking the environmentalists to obtain their votes.
In the USA, Obama has essentially been declaring an economically destructive “War on Energy” to support his political cronies that have contributed to his liberal campaigns displaying utter disregard that such misguided actions are depriving millions of US citizens the good paying energy jobs they need (such as those available in Canada and elsewhere in the world).
Rather than do as other nations of the world do, work as a team to produce all forms of energy for the benefit of their citizens by successfully implementing an “All of the Above” energy policy, Obama talks about “saving the planet”, but offers no documented plans, like some Druid cult like religion from the era of Stonehenge!
Does the phrase “All of the Above” sound familiar? It should. That is the slogan that Barack Obama campaigned on to become President of the United States.
Not only has Barack Obama produced no new robust energy policy for United States on Federal Lands such as Shale, Offshore an ANWR, which Canada and many other nations are leveraging, Obama has allowed out of control environmentalist lobbies in the USA to engage in blocking various non polluting green energy projects (solar and nuclear to name but two).
These extremist so-called environmental elements are proclaiming that cockroaches and other insects have more rights that human beings! A cockroach has more rights than a human?
This is utter nonsense that the Main Stream Media fails to report about how the United States EPA has perverted their original cause, now running amok while US citizens and their families starve from lack of jobs!
Unlike Canada, where environmentalists and government work in unison, the lack of responsible action to produce a nationwide energy policy, coupled with the polemics from the Obama Administration in the White House, are Pagan in nature, using Druid like rhetoric, only designed to placate their allies and agitate the masses, not help the citizens of the United States.
What is needed, instead of Obama’s useless polemic anti-energy propaganda, is a robust “All of the Above” energy policy, documented in a series of ten (10) five (5) plans that includes all forms of energy to bridge to a renewable future to ensure a vibrant economy.
Thankfully, such is advocated by many reasonable politicians, both Democrat, Independents and Republican, including the honorable Speaker of the House John Boehner (pictured above left).
The real question we all must consider is whether or not Barack Obama will learn from his mistakes and emulate the policies of his wise neighbors to the north in Canada, or will he and his corrupt anti-energy minions continue with their bankrupt policies to the detriment of the United States when a seven percent growth and millions of good paying jobs are available from Shale, ANWR and Offshore energy?
Stay tuned as Kenn from RockwaterReports announces more of our new Real News series in the future!
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