Author: Julia Da Silva

New Year’s Resolution: Don’t be fooled by Trudeau’s “real change” promise this year, too

  I realize that there are a lot of good reasons to want to leave last year’s politics behind us. But, history will judge 2017 on how well we untangle the mess that we, willingly or not, got ourselves into this past year. So it’s important we revisit it. In November 2016, only weeks after the UN Convention on Climate Change entered into force, Prime Minister Trudeau approved two pipelines. Together, Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement and Kinder Morgan’s expansion of the Trans Mountain system could increase the productive capabilities of Canada’s oil industry by approximately one million barrels per day. 890,000 barrels per day would travel from Alberta’s oil sands to the B.C. coast, through Indigenous lands, via Kinder Morgan. While Trudeau claims that this approval is consistent with a responsible transition from fossil fuels, as well as with the UN climate convention, the evidence to support this claim is largely nonexistent. Trudeau has now made two promises that make an overt contradiction that no political manipulation can hope to overcome. Somehow, we are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent (from 2005 levels) by 2030, while doubling production in our largest greenhouse gas source, the oil sands, by 2040. This, in a world in which, even if coal were phased out immediately (the phase-out of Canada’s relatively insignificant coal sector being one of Trudeau’s primary climate policy selling-points),...

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O Canada: The time for timidity has passed

I first heard of the Leap Manifesto in an issue of Maclean’s titled, “How to Kill the NDP.” That was April 2016, almost a year after a coalition of environmental, Indigenous rights, labour, social justice, and other activist movements began discussion on what was too quickly becoming an object of ridicule for much of the mainstream media. The conference was organized by activist Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and Avi Lewis, director of the documentary of the same title. “It’s not about carbon: it’s about capitalism” is the thesis of This Changes Everything, which examines why so many attempts to address climate change have failed. They have been unable to escape the narrative wherein every problem—including those created by the a ceaseless drive for profit and economic growth—can,...

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