Canadians Deserve an Energy Strategy that Better Serves the Public Interest

 In a recent column in the National Post, Michael Den Tandt heaped scorn on Neil Young and his “fellow oil sands critics” for protesting without offering “a single viable alternative”. The article, which also calls Young a “moral coward”, leaves a foul smell in the air to anyone eager for sustainable resource development and civilized …

Pricing out Consumerism: Just in Time for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again. The holiday season has arrived in full force, bombarding us with messages of “buy this” and “buy that“ in order to ensure happiness for us, our families, friends and work-mates. That message, however, seemed out of focus as we frantically trample the holiday spirit in our pursuit of discounted …

Re-Assessing Our Values: Questions of Social Equity and Environmental Integrity Around the ‘New’ Prosperity Mine

 August 23rd marked the end of the second round of public hearings over a proposed mine development for the Chilcotin region. The Prosperity Mine project, first proposed by mining giant Taseko Limited in 2007, is located 125 km southwest of Williams Lake, in the interior of British Columbia. Taseko has proposed to mine gold and copper …

Canadian Mining Companies Must be Accountable for Their Actions Abroad

The results of mining benefit every Canadian, found in virtually every product we use and throughout our economy. Through private pensions, the Canada Pension Plan, mutual funds and individual investments, most Canadians have a stake in Canadian mining operations, and the industry itself accounts for over a fifth of total domestic goods exported (MAC, 2011). …

Observations for North American Association for Environmental Education 42nd Annual Conference

On October 8, 2013, after a long trip, we arrived to Baltimore, Charm City, and buckets of rain. We were there for the 42nd Annual NAAEE (North American Association for Environmental Education) Conference. While it I was my first time attending NAAEE’s conference, Michael Bloomfield attended NAAEE in 1987. For a first timer, the scale of …

Oil Is Bringing the Arctic to a Rapid Boil

Climate is the new game changer Lloyd’s of London estimates that Arctic oil and gas reserves could draw investment of up to US$100-billion within a decade. Now a paper published in the journal Nature reports that the release of methane from the Arctic could speed the melting of sea ice and climate change with a …

The Northern Gateway Pipeline: Why Social License Has Been Denied

While The Northern Gateway Pipeline debate is loaded with emotion, objectivity and trust are in short supply.  Under these circumstances, can government and business acquire the social license to proceed or will they over-ride opposition and proceed without public support? The debate about social license can be distilled to a few pivotal questions:  Is the …

Loblaw’s and Supply Chain Management: Uncovering the details of the Rana Plaza Collapse

It’s early in the morning on April the 24th. Workers file in to start another day on the job. Sewing machines gear up and peck threads into garments like a community of woodpeckers searching for grubs. A mild tremor shakes the walls. Before anyone realizes what is happening, workers at the Bangladeshi Rana Plaza are …

What Can Canadian Companies Do To Trade Responsibly With China?

By the end of 2011 there were over 2,500 Canadian companies in China. Like most western companies they have benefitted from permissive labour, health, and environmental standards and yet not one Canadian company is found among the top Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) rankings in China. With China Canada’s number two export destination this is an …

Doing Business with China without Selling Our Soul

Standing in front of a Beijing Starbucks on a polluted October day I wondered what would approval of the Nexen–CNOOC deal mean for Canada and our relationship with China, not to overlook the Foreign Investment Protection Act and growing Chinese investment. We recently received an indication via the government’s new rules on foreign acquisitions. Or …