Inside B.C.'s Natural Gas Resource Giveaway

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The Startling Similarities Between Newfoundland's Muskrat Falls Boondoggle and B.C.'s Site C Dam

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador are preparing for electricity rates to double in the next five years, adding an estimated $150 per month in power costs for the average homeowner, as a consequence of building the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam — and experts warn it could be a cautionary tale for British Columbia.

“Muskrat Falls was not the right choice for the power needs of this province,” public power company CEO Stan Marshall told the press last year, confirming the project is a “boondoggle.”

“It was a gamble and it's gone against us.” Read more.

The Art of the Steal: Inside Christy Clark's Natural Gas Resource Giveaway

For years, B.C. Premier Christy Clark has been under immense pressure to deliver on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) promises that formed the backbone of her 2013 election campaign.

Back then, the Liberals predicted LNG could create almost 40,000 construction jobs in BC, 75,000 full-time jobs once in operation, and much more. “It's no fantasy,” read the Liberal platform of 2013. “We can create $1 trillion in economic activity and create the BC Prosperity Fund with $100 billion over 30 years.”

But four years later, the opportunity to cash in on LNG exports to Asia has dissolved, while the $100 million currently sitting in the Prosperity Fund has been drawn not from natural gas, but from sources like the premiums for the BC Medical Services Plan. Read more.

BC Liberal Political Donation Scandal Investigated by RCMP

Elections BC will refer its ongoing investigation into potentially illegal political donations made to the BC Liberals to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, British Columbia’s Chief Electoral Officer, Keith Archer announced.

“This investigation has been referred to ensure that it will in no way impede Elections BC’s administration of the provincial general election scheduled for May 9,” an Elections BC bulletin states.

“This referral will also ensure that there is no perception that Elections BC’s ability to administer the general election in a fair, neutral and impartial manner is in any way compromised. The potential scope and timing of this matter make the RCMP the most appropriate agency to continue this investigation.” Read more.

Teck Mining Lobbyist’s Donation to BC Liberals ‘Listed in Error,’ Company Says

Political donations made to the BC Liberals under the name of a prominent Teck Resources lobbyist were actually made by the company and were registered in error, according to the company.

A joint investigation between DeSmog Canada and University of Victoria researcher Nick Graham of the Corporate Mapping Project uncovered seven Teck Resources registered lobbyists who have also donated to the BC Liberals.

According to the Elections BC database, Carleigh Whitman, manager of government relations for Teck Resources, made personal contributions totaling $4,275 to the BC Liberals.

Political donations by lobbyists are in the spotlight after a Globe and Mail investigation revealed some lobbyists are being reimbursed for their contributions, a practice that is illegal in B.C., a province with some of the weakest political donation laws in the country. Read more.

Canada Risks International Embarrassment Over Mismanagement of World Heritage Site: UNESCO

Canada’s largest World Heritage Site is under threat from unfettered oilsands development and hydro dams on the Peace River — where the B.C. government is now planning to build the massive Site C dam — says a hard-hitting report by a United Nations agency.

While contaminants from the oilsands are affecting water and air quality, water flows through Wood Buffalo National Park are being strangled by dams, according to the highly critical report by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and International Union for Conservation of Nature

The report warns that, if there is not a “major and timely” response to its recommendations, the organization will recommend that Wood Buffalo National Park be included in the list of World Heritage in Danger — a list usually reserved for sites in war-torn countries or those facing other disasters. Read more.

Political Donations By Top Kinder Morgan Staff Draw Call for Elections BC Investigation

Elections BC has been asked to investigate political contributions made to the BC Liberals by high-ranking Kinder Morgan staff, including president Ian Anderson.

The democracy advocacy group Dogwood submitted a formal complaint to Elections BC this week after discovering a series of political donations from individuals connected to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project that received provincial approval in January 2017.

The complaint comes on the heels of a bombshell investigation by the Globe and Mail that revealed corporate lobbyists were illegally reimbursed for donations made to the BC Liberals. Read more.

Three Reasons Why Keystone XL May Never Get Built

Almost a full decade since first applying for a presidential permit, TransCanada looks set to finally receive go-ahead in the U.S. for its massive $8-billion Keystone XL pipeline.

But here’s the thing: U.S. approval, while a great leap forward for TransCanada, doesn’t guarantee the Keystone XL pipeline will ever be built.

New U.S. President Donald Trump was elected with the explicit promise to get the 830,000 barrel per day pipeline from Alberta to Nebraska built, under the conditions that the U.S. would receive a “big, big chunk of the profits, or even ownership rights” and it would be built with American steel; his administration has already flip-flopped on the latter pledge. Read more.

Four Things You Need to Know About How Coal Affects Human Health

In November 2016, the Government of Canada announced its intention to phase out coal as a source of power.

Since then, many voices have misrepresented or questioned the impact that coal emissions have on Canadians’ health and our environment.

In order to clear the air, we’ve answered four of the biggest questions being asked about the link between an accelerated phase-out of coal-fired power and human health.r0

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