Archive for June 2014

Rights of First Nations peoples   Leave a comment

Quote from Chief Baptiste

It’s a great day to be Canadian(June 26, 2014).

In a landmark case, the Supreme Court of Canada has granted title to the Tsilhqot’in First Nation over its traditional territory. This is a historical step towards the recognition of Indigenous peoples as the rightful stewards of their lands and the ones to decide if and how they should be developed.

I’m so proud that the Council of Canadians and our Williams Lake chapter were able to intervene in this case in support of the Tsilhqot’in claim. In our submission, we told the court that “meaningful recognition and affirmation of aboriginal rights and title in Canada is fundamental to improving social justice for Canada’s aboriginal peoples.”

The ruling is a milestone for the rights of Indigenous peoples. But it also has immediate implications for projects like Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline. No longer can governments ignore the concerns of First Nations when environmentally destructive projects threaten their lands and the natural heritage we all value so dearly.

I hope that you are as thrilled as I am about this decision.

With hope and resolve,

Maude Barlow

Maude Barlow
National Chairperson

Environmental Report Card – Toronto   Leave a comment

The Greek Theatre at Scarborough's Guild Inn

The Greek Theatre at Scarborough’s Guild Inn

The Toronto Environmental Alliance has published a “report card” on the voting record of current city Councillors.

The rationale for the grades is worth looking at, as well as how each Councillor scored.

Thankfully, 17 of the 43 Councillors scored an A+. That is something to celebrate.

You can access the report card at: http://torontoenvironment.org/sites/tea/files/TEA%20Enviro%20REPORTCARD.pdf

Desmond Tutu’s visit to Canada’s Tar Sands   Leave a comment

KAIROS Canada connects with Archbishop Desmond Tutu over climate change, resource extraction and Indigenous rights

Ed Bianchi, Jennifer Henry & Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Jennifer Henry, KAIROS’ Executive Director and Ed Bianchi, Program Manager, were thrilled to meet with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Fort McMurray at the As Long As the Rivers Flow: Coming Back to the Treaty Relationship in Our Time conference, May 31-June 1, 2014. Archbishop Tutu says climate change is a moral struggle and that we must all consider how Alberta’s tar sands impact the climate, Indigenous rights, and the global community – a position echoed by KAIROS.

The conference explored how treaties protect the environment, shape resource development, and address the promise of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Following the conference, Jennifer and Ed visited Fort Chipewyan to follow up on a delegation to the tar sands organized by KAIROS in 2009 that was comprised of leaders from Canadian churches and church organizations, as well as Indigenous representatives from British Columbia, Ecuador and Nigeria.

Jennifer and Ed’s Blogs

We are all connected, by Jennifer Henry
His was a clarion call: we need to move away from fossil fuels dependence towards cleaner and safer energies that protect the people and the planet. Read more.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: A Voice To be Heard, by Jennifer Henry
I worked as a Christian Education worker in an Anglican church in Winnipeg in the late 80’s.  Like others in the churches, we were actively involved in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.  Read more.

It’s time to decarbonise, by Ed Bianchi
Winona LaDuke wants to change the terms of the discussion. She says we are in a spiritual moment, and we have a choice to make. Do we want to live for another 500 – 1000 years, or another 50? Read more. This blog also appears in Rabble.ca – Changing the discussion on the high carbon economy.

We do have choices, by Jennifer Henry
There was rain in the morning, but when it came time to fly to Fort Chipewyan the sky was beautifully clear. It was a chance for me to see directly something of what was highlighted at the last two days during the So Long as the Rivers Flow Conference. Read more.

Fort Chipewyan: Time for Treaty Renewal, by Ed Bianchi
In so many ways, Fort Chipewyan’s story mirrors that of Canada. Its rich history includes Indigenous peoples, explorers, fur traders, disease, corporations, governments, treaties, residential schools, and the church. Read more.

For more on KAIROS’ visit to Fort McMurray, click here.

Respect Existence OR Expect Resistance   Leave a comment

Enbridge Gateway Pipeline

Posted by the Council of Canadians – June 18, 2014

'No Means No' rally in Vancouver tonight against the Northern Gateway pipeline. Photo by Leila Darwish.
‘No Means No’ rally in Vancouver on June 17, 2014 against the Northern Gateway pipeline. Photo by Leila Darwish.

Blog: Harper approves Northern Gateway pipeline, June 17, 2014

Pipeline basics: The Enbridge Northern Gateway project involves two pipelines. One pipeline would ship 525,000 barrels of oil daily from Alberta to the coastal community of Kitimat. The other pipeline would move 193,000 barrels a day of condensate, which is used to dilute tar sands bitumen so it can flow through the pipelines, to Alberta.

The route: The pipelines would cross a 1,177 km path through northern B.C. including more than 50 Indigenous territories. It would cross ecologically sensitive areas including hundreds of salmon-bearing rivers and streams, the Great Bear Rainforest and mountainous and landslide-prone lands. Tankers would bring the crude through ecologically sensitive coastal waters known for being perilous, including high winds and waves.

OppositionMore than 130 Indigenous communities and First Nations have endorsed the landmark “Save the Fraser Declaration” which opposes the project based on the upholding ancestral laws, title, rights and responsibilities. Opposition to the pipeline proposal has also been expressed by the Union of BC Municipalities and Terrace, Prince Rupert and Smithers City Councils. The Council of Canadians, alongside many other social justice and environmental organizations, actively oppose the project through campaigns, events and grassroots mobilization. Public polling in B.C. demonstrates the majority of residents do not support the project.  Many suggest that opposition will include future legal battles, particularly over Indigenous rights, as well as acts of non-violent civil disobedience. There are multiple reasons why opposition to the project is strong and growing. This notably includes the pipeline’s role in helping to drive unsustainable expansion in the tar sands and the risks to the environment, subsistence livelihoods and the tourism and fishing industries from a pipeline and tanker spill. The transport of tar sands crude – bitumen – poses heightened spill risks. Bitumen is more viscous and corrosive then conventional crude oil and needs to be mixed with diluents (solvents such as naphtha and natural gas condensate) and transported at higher pressures and temperature.

Where does government stand? There is an ongoing Joint Review Panel mandated by the Minister of the Environment and the National Energy Board that is reviewing the environmental impacts of the proposed project and whether it is in the national interest. A decision is expected in late 2013. Prime Minister Harper and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver are actively promoting the project and have already stated that the project is in the national interest. Former interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae and former interim NDP leader Nicole Turmel have both raised concerns about the project, and have suggested that the NEB decision may not fully address these concerns. The Alberta government promotes the project. The B.C. government is withholding their opinion on the project until the results of the NEB review are available.

Renewable Energy Provides 6.5 Million Jobs Globally   Leave a comment

This is a “good news story” about what is being done to assist humanity live with respect IN creation:

Press Release – 11 May 2014 

In 2013, approximately 6.5 million people were already employed in the renewable energy industry worldwide, a new study by the International Renewable Energy Agency reveals. Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2014’ underlines the important role that renewables continue to play in employment creation and growth in the global economy.

The comprehensive annual review shows steady growth in the number of renewable energy jobs worldwide, which expanded from 5.7 million in 2012, according to IRENA.

For more complete information, check out the IRENA website at: www.irena.org

First Nations response to Northern Gateway   Leave a comment

IMG_1840On June 17, 2014 the Government of Canada, with the leadership of Stephen Harper,  approved Enbridge’s application to construct the Northern Gateway pipeline. This pipeline is designed to transport dilbit from the Tar Sands of Alberta, through the territories of First Nations peoples, to the west coast of Canada for export to international markets.

In immediate response to the federal government’s decision, First Nations across B.C. are uniting to defend their lands and waters from the unacceptable risks posed by Enbridge’s project. Read their response at:

http://yinkadene.ca/index.php/media/first_nations_going_to_court_united_against_enbridges_northern_gateway_proj

Jesuit educated Neanderthal   Leave a comment

Theology in the Vineyard

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The world is burning and these two leaders are laughing.

Australian PM Tony Abbott last week in Ottawa

Christopher Hume wrote this in the Star today

Unlike most world leaders — if that’s the right term — these two want to be frank; they will do nothing to stop global warming, they proudly declared, if it might hurt the economy. Not one dollar, certainly not one job, shall be lost in the fight to control climate change, the gravest issue we face today.

That pained smile Harper adopts when forced to explain his most indefensible actions to a room full of doubters was much in evidence Monday when the two PMs showered the benefit of their wisdom upon ungrateful media hordes. The difference between us and them, we were reminded, is that other nations are hypocrites and we’re not. We’re upfront about it — the environment is not our issue…

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Posted June 16, 2014 by allanbaker in Uncategorized