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Canadian Blog Awards 2007 – Nominations now accepted

Yes folks, it’s that time of year again – The Canadian Blogging Awards are close at hand and nominations of blogs and bloggers for different categories are now taking place and being accepted.

You’ll find a new website for the Awards is up, and as mentioned by other folks, it is now being run by a collective of people from all blogging perspectives possible. I’m pleased to see 2 of my Progressive Bloggers staff (Northern BC Dipper – one of my moderators, and Saskboy from Abandoned Stuff – the Prog Blog webmaster) involved in the collective running of this site and the process – indeed it was Saskboy who seemed […]

Copyright Bill on hold till the New Year

Just a little update to my last post: It appears the government has gotten cold feet on introducing the Copyright Bill in this session of Parliament, and will wait til the New Year before introducing it. I echo Dr. Geist’s hopes as well as others that Minister Prentice will take this extra time to consult other people and organizations other then copyright lobbyists to make this bill a lot more then just a sop bill to those folks.

Keep the pressure up: Continue to write your MP and others in the government and the opposition parties to say you want Fair Copyright Laws in Canada that take into account all […]

The Copyright Bill – call your MP to say you’re opposed to this version of it.

Some may be wondering what I’m referring to with that title. Instead of me trying to explain it, let me quote Dr. Michael Geist, the premier authority on copyright and internet issues in Canada, from his Facebook Group, Fair Copyright For Canada:

The Canadian government is about to introduce new copyright legislation that will be a complete sell-out to U.S. government and lobbyist demands. The new Canadian legislation will likely mirror the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act with strong anti-circumvention legislation that goes far beyond what is needed to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Internet treaties. Moreover, it will not address the issues that concern millions of Canadians. […]

Harper’s over-the-top partisanship strikes again.

Last night, in an emergency session, Parliament passed legislation which allows the nuclear plant at Chalk River to operate for 4 months and able to operate without the oversight of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the quasi-judicial body that is responsible for the oversight of nuclear plants running in this country. The emergency bill essentially overruled the safety concerns that the CNSC had in ordering the plant to be shut down. This was done in an unusual late night session, and even more unusual, involved actual interviews of witnesses in the House of Commons.

Whether you agree with that move or not is one thing (possible safety hazards vs getting production of medical isotopes going again); what I wanted to focus on today was Harper’s out-of-the-sky charge yesterday that it was “Liberal-appointed commissioners” who were imperiling the safety of Canadians, and the entire world for that matter. Harper’s partisanship was on full display, which Stageleft has kindly listed for all to see (Steve apparently fashions himself as an expert on nuclear safety, all of a sudden).

I decided to take a peek over at the CNSC website and take a look at the biographies of the Commissioners to see how qualified they were – since according to Harper’s description of them, all of them are just Liberal appointed hacks who were throwing up bureaucratic red tape to stop a reactor from running without just cause.

Let’s start with The President of the CNSC; Linda Keen who hails from from Alberta. She has a B.Sc in chemistry and an M.Sc in Agricultural Sciences. She has worked in the agriculture, mining, and nuclear sectors. She was the Chair of the International Nuclear Regulators Association in 2003. Pretty good looking credentials to me.

Dr. Christopher Barnes is next. All this guy did was get a Geology degree in England and then worked for NATO in Wales, and then managed to get 5 scientific awards for his work, including the Queen’s Jubilee medal. Oh, and he also was awarded the Order of Canada. I don’t know WHERE the Liberals got off putting this guy on the Commission 🙄

Dr. J. Moyra J. Mcgill is next up. She has 3 degrees in Engineering, and she’s the current Undergraduate chair in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University.

That leaves the last 2. First up is André Harvey, appointed in June 2006…. hmm.. June 2006…. I believe one Mr. Harper was in government at the time when this appointment was made. – curious… I wonder if he knows Harper is including him in the “Liberal appointed Nuclear Safety Commission” charge. Nevertheless, this fellow has his B. Sc in Civil Engineering and has an M .Sc in Water Management. Last is Alan Graham, who was a Liberal Cabinet Minister for Agriculture in New Brunswick in the 1990’s.

So to sum up, we have 2 Doctors and a Chairperson on this Commission with impressive credentials and with several awards to their credit, and we have another gentleman with good credentials who was an apparent Harper appointee, unless the Liberals did some magic I wasn’t aware of to get him appointed in June of 2006 when they weren’t even in power. That only leaves Alan Graham as a possible argument for him being a political appointment.

In otherwards, this is a Nuclear Safety Commission that has the credentials to back up any decision they make on closing down a nuclear plant or not. Harper’s over-the-top partisanship has impugned these person’s integrity and reputation, and he should be apologizing for it. Since that won’t happen in the House, the Liberals (and every other party for that matter) should be reading these persons credentials out loudly to anyone in the media who will listen. 4 of the 5 may have been appointed when the Liberals were in power, but its rather darn obvious that they were picked for their expertise.

Harper had better hope that no accident takes place at this facility while this 4 month moratorium of bypassing the CSNC is in effect. (Remember, the CSNC shut this plant down because it was lacking the proper safety upgrades the AECL had promised would be installed). His rantings on declaring “there is no health hazard” will come back to haunt him.

Blogging from Bali – Stephane Dion.

Jason was hinting at his blog earlier that there would be some big news, and indeed there is:

Stéphane Dion is blogging from Bali… My expectation is that Mr. Dion will write clearly about what he is seeing on the ground and how his meetings are going.

Mr. Dion’s blog can be found here. I decided to take a peek at his site, and he’s been very busy with 4 blog entries already on his first day of blogging. Those include describing his arrival in Bali, his speech to municipal and city leaders, his meeting with Yvo De Boer (the UN’s climate change Secretary), and commenting on all the Fossil Awards Canada is receiving in Bali.

It’ll be interesting to see if he will keep the blogging pace up, but regardless, it will be an inside view of the conference from his perspective. I particularly look forward to the blogging he does after the panel he and Mr Baird are supposed to be on together on the 13th is completed and the anticipated fireworks some are expecting to happen occurs (presuming Mr Baird doesn’t chicken out on it, like he did with the government-sponsored event that as mentioned earlier, caused the Canadian youth delegation to leave in protest.)

A recipe for failure is exactly what’s intended, and some big news?

Stephane Dion’s first public statements to the Bali forum did not mention Canada or the Conservative government by name, but it wasn’t too hard to figure out who he was referring to when he said that those governments who advocate all-or nothing plans on climate change are doing a recipe for failure:

“It’s certainly not enough to say, ‘I will do something only if the others do something,”‘ Dion said. “The good philosophy is to say, ‘I will do the most I can and I ask you to do the same.”‘

Of course, this recipe for failure is designed that way on purpose by the Cons. Their hardliner position is […]

Baird and Harper: Making fools of themselves – and Canada – at Bali.

Some would have you believe that the only reason we’re criticizing Harper and Baird and the Cons for their environmental stance is because we all in Progressive blogger land (and of course the various Liberal/NDP/Green bloggers in their own specific blogging groups) and the Opposition in general “hate” Harper to the point of derangement.

There sure are a lot of “haters” internationally, too then, apparently. In a news article from CP titled “Canada assailed from all sides for its stance at Bali”, we find out we have all sorts of organizations, groups and countries taking aim at us over our ridiculous position. First we have the UN deciding its going […]

A bit of honesty from Baird and the Cons perhaps?

Perhaps Baird, Harper and the Cons. have decided this facade and pretense to Canadians and to the world of actually wanting to help stop climate change and limit GHG’s, and going to Bali to do something productive on that front, is just too much of a bother to continue pretending anymore, judging by this move today:

After banishing environmentalists and opposition MPs from Canada’s delegation to the Bali climate conference, Ottawa has decided to allow an oil company and several business executives to join the official delegation.

As BCL shows, they just didn’t pick any oil company either; they chose one of the companies that has been cited by the Europeans as being one of the worst with regards to pollution in the tarsands. THAT should tell the world and Canadians what this Conservative government thinks of Bali and post-Kyoto mandatory emissions caps, if they hadn’t figured it out already. The Cons. are there to protect Big Oil’s interests in the tarsands, and will do anything they can to scuttle the Bali talks.

Footnote – this should be interesting:

On Dec. 13 Environment Minister John Baird and Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion are slated to be on the same panel together in Bali on the topic of Canadian action on climate change federally and provincially. One of the other speakers on the panel told me that she plans on holding her remarks to 1.5 minutes in order to allow maximum time for the two elected officials to hash it out.

That could be a bit of fireworks, depending on how Dion approaches Baird and vice-versa. We all know Baird has a temper and is a blowhard, and Harper and he are well known for using international conferences to attack their domestic political opponents. This time however, Dion is there to call him out on it if he goes that route. Dion (as mentioned earlier by me in another blogposting) is well respected internationally for the work he did as the host in Montreal at that climate change conference, so it will be interesting to see how he goes about showing that a) Canadians do care about climate change, and the Cons. don’t represent the majority view on this issue, and b) how much of Baird’s and the Cons. hypocrisy on this issue is he willing to go after.

Some environmentalists and even Green Party leader Elizabeth May are worried Dion can’t be seen as “undermining” Canada at Bali. Au Contraire. This government’s position needs to be criticized for what it is – a policy of inaction. If that’s “undermining” Canada’s position, so be it. It quite frankly needs to be undermined, in my view, because it is not the right policy for either Canada or the world.

Pretending you care

The Mound of Sound asks a good question at his blog:

The intransigence of Washington and Ottawa is so transparent and disingenuous why did Baird and his American counterpart, Harlan Watson, even go to Bali at all?

He then attempts to answer it by suggesting it was to sabotage efforts by the international community to reach an agreement. I don’t doubt that to be the case. Indeed, we see the US has now publicly announced it will come up with its own plan rather then submit to whatever comes out of the Bali talks. That’s one part – but the other more important issue is I think domestic consumption. […]

On self-interest

If you’re wondering why Stephen Harper and his Cons. don’t want anything to do with binding targets on climate change, and why his intensity targets proposal is nothing more then rhetoric, read this article over at DeSmogBlog, the excellent environmentally conscious blogsite. Any binding emissions targets will probably slow down Steve’s attempts to become an “energy superpower”, and also puts a bit of a dent into the profits of Big Oil, his foremost supporters out in Alberta.

You’ll also see why Dubya has no interest in binding targets either, though thankfully for us and the world, he’ll be gone in about a year, replaced in all likelihood by someone (read […]

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