How mismanagement of B.C. forests is hurting Canada’s economy

Recent sawmill closures have exposed a raft of problems in the industry and government failure to ensure long-term productivity

How mismanagement of B.C. forests is hurting Canada’s economyRecent sawmill closures in British Columbia have brought to light the need for renewed focus on the mismanagement of B.C. forests over the past decades and what to do about it. That mismanagement is having a significant effect on the B.C. and Canadian economies. If you live in the B.C. interior, where more than 820…

Suing oil companies over climate change will only hurt taxpayers

Precious little good will can come from Victoria city council's campaign, but it will certainly cost a great deal of money

Suing oil companies over climate change will only hurt taxpayersThe City of Victoria wants to round up municipalities to sue oil companies for damages from climate change. Not only is such a case virtually impossible to prove, it’s also full of rich ironies. Weather-related damages, termed “perils” in Canadian insurance plans, are more commonly called acts of God. How ironic that environmentalists envision the…

B.C. mayors shaking down energy companies are ignoring reality

We know what a world without fossil fuels looks like – we used to live in it. It was cold, poor, dark, ignorant, starving and backwards

B.C. mayors shaking down energy companies are ignoring realityWest Coast Environmental Law, an advocacy organization based in Vancouver, has persuaded a group of British Columbia mayors and city councillors to write threatening letters to major oil and gas companies. The letters demand the companies pay large arbitrary sums to compensate for a list of supposed harms associated with greenhouse gases from fossil fuel…

Learning to cope with the gradual onset of climate change

As spring beckons after four previous very dry springs and four summers of smoke, we should prepare for the worst

Learning to cope with the gradual onset of climate changeA funny thing happened in Powell River, B.C., the other day. There was a scheduled one-hour power outage that I heard about on the radio as I was driving the 30 kilometres into town to do some errands. No big deal, I thought. Lights out in the mall perhaps. My first stop was at the…

Whistler mayor’s bid for energy industry cash just whistling in the wind

Consumers – including tourists visiting Whistler – and petroleum producers are co-conspirators in the emissions game

Whistler mayor’s bid for energy industry cash just whistling in the windA common T-shirt reads: “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Whistler, B.C., Mayor Jack Crompton is wearing a neon version these days. Recently, Crompton infamously asked leading energy companies, including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., to ante up a chunk of change to help mitigate impact that Whistler is ostensibly experiencing as a…

Putting Columbia River salmon restoration at risk

Including Indigenous voices in U.S.-Canada water agreement discussions would give the environment a leading role

Putting Columbia River salmon restoration at riskSalmon used to swim all the way up the Columbia River from the Pacific Ocean near Astoria, Ore., to the Canadian Rocky Mountains at the river’s headwaters in Canal Flats, B.C. It was an astounding journey of 2,000 kilometres upstream that cut through a landscape of lush forest, dry desert and high peaks. But since…

On wings and dorsal fins: how fall arrives on the West Coast

As the local orca family hunts sea lions, the resident bald eagles leave for a pre-winter feast of salmon

On wings and dorsal fins: how fall arrives on the West CoastWhen you live in the coastal rainforest, you learn the natural indicators that presage seasonal change. The mornings are getting darker, the days are becoming shorter and the evenings are definitely cooler. We swam on Sept. 3 but the ocean was noticeably colder. And we spent less time out front going through our exercise routines…

Smoke gets in your eyes – and spoils your plans

The summer of 2018’s last trip into Desolation Sound ended abruptly, and not because the weather changed

Smoke gets in your eyes – and spoils your plansOn the morning of Sept. 2, we decided to take a last trip in our boat into Desolation Sound, the world-class boating destination that lies a mere half hour from our Westview Marina berth in Powell River. All summer we’ve been popping in and out of this destination, taking advantage of blue skies and 30C…

Connecting the dots in the summer of smoke

Right across Canada, dramatic signs of climate change are casting a pall on the landscape

Connecting the dots in the summer of smokeThe last five summers at Skelhp, on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, have been progressively drier. We’ve had one significant wildfire nearby, in Sechelt Inlet, which wafted ash in a big brown plume over our regional air shed. The smoke from this fire three years ago caused us to close all the windows in the July heat…

Why build a pipeline if we prohibit oil tanker traffic?

The federal government's Bill C-48 would indefinitely ban most oil tankers loading or unloading anywhere on the B.C. north coast

Why build a pipeline if we prohibit oil tanker traffic?While the Trans Mountain pipeline saga grabs headlines across the country, Bill C-48, which indefinitely bans most oil tankers loading or unloading anywhere on British Columbia’s north coast, recently had its third reading in Parliament. The bill, which must still pass through the Senate, erects yet another barrier to exporting Canadian oil to markets in…
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