Category Archives: SPP

Happy New Year: Top 25 Censored Stories in 2009

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Tis the time of Janus, where we look forward to 2009 and back to 2008 at the same time.  What have we learned?  Are we making progress or are we stuck in the mud?

Project Censored has released its list of top censored stories in 2008 and 2009 and, with the power of the web, they’ll cease to be as ‘private’ as the mainstream media intended.

Here’s the full list for your enjoyment (with apologies to Project Censored, I’ve re-pasted the links below, just in case the lead story experiences a page change):

What are your favourite under-reported stories for Canada in 2008 and what do you think they will be in 2009?  My suggestions include the following:

  1. The Cadman Affair.  What does Stephen Harper know about this?
  2. The Coalition:  Which unelected coalition will Canadians be forced to choose?
  3. Afghanistan:  end date = when?
  4. Canadian Unions Forced to take a back seat to bailouts
  5. HPV and the impact on young women
  6. Vaccines and the impact on all young children
  7. Nuclear power lobbying:  when will it end and when will we be able to move on to viable renewables?
  8. The NDP-Green coalition:  Canada’s future in the making
  9. Canada’s Trade Deal with Colombia
  10. From SPP to North American Union:  Canada’s efforts to harmonize currencies
  11. Tar Sands:  How much gain for how much pain to Canadians?

Please post your suggestions below and we’ll do our best to keep track of them during the year.

Tories to Flush Canada-led Water Monitoring Program

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Original story here .

I suppose this goes in the ‘if it ain’t oil, we ain’t going to watch it’ file.

Ironically, water will one day be more valuable than oil, but we’ll leave that problem to our kids, I suppose.

All to save a shitty little $1.5 million.  How embarassing.

DETAILS:
Tories to flush Canada-led water-monitoring program
Written by Sue Bailey, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Thursday, 13 November 2008

OTTAWA – The Harper government wants out of a Canada-led UN program that monitors freshwater around the world – a move being slammed as the latest Tory abdication of global causes once championed by Ottawa.

Experts say they’re shocked Canada would abandon a database it designed and has managed for 30 years, just as dwindling water supplies emerge as a critical issue. Environment Canada spokesman John Carey says the Global Environment Monitoring System is no longer a priority.

"We would like someone else to take it over," he said of the database that tracks trends from 2,700 water-quality monitoring stations in more than 70 countries.

Twenty-four United Nations agencies rely on those details to assess how increasingly precious freshwater sources are being managed.

Canada has most recently co-ordinated the system from labs at the University of Saskatchewan and in Burlington, Ont.

The previous Liberal government set up a five-year trust fund worth $1.5 million that was allowed to expire last year, Carey said in an interview.

"We considered within the department at our management board last spring whether there was any opportunity to replenish the trust fund. And we could not find one. We began considering looking for a partner then.

"We like the program. It’s just not a priority for Environment Canada."

Funding for three related salaries and "a relatively small amount of operating dollars" for the database will continue "until we find someone else to take it over," Carey said.

Errol Mendes, a University of Ottawa law professor and former adviser to the United Nations, says the timing is baffling.

"What will be the most important commodity in the second half of this century? It will not be gold. It will not be oil. It will be water. Water is not a question of whether or not you have more money in the bank. It’s a question of whether you live or die.

"And the fact is some of the most critical countries in the world are literally running out of potable, drinkable water – which this institution was supposed to monitor."

Mendes said the move away from the water system mirrors Canada’s about-face on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Canada under the Conservatives was one of a handful of countries that refused to support the landmark document, citing concerns it would conflict with existing laws.

The rebuff was in stark contrast to support for the process under the Liberals.

Canadian Maude Barlow learned of the impending water-program pullout less than a month into her appointment as the UN’s first adviser on water issues.

"That Canada would remove this support from this program is just outrageous and an embarrassment," she said.

"It’s yet another example … that the Harper government is parochial, that it sees its environment commitments really in terms of optics.

"I have people say to me around the world: whatever happened to your country? We used to be able to count on Canada to take stands. And now Canada is in some cases worse than the United States – just absolutely refusing to partake and participate in international programs."

Germany is among countries reportedly interested in picking up Canada’s slack, Barlow said.

"But why should it move from Canada when it was built on Canadian expertise and technology? When it’s been here for 30 years?"

Monique Dube, an associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Environment and Sustainability, is a former research scientist at Environment Canada.

"As a scientist, I’ve used the database myself and I understand the significance of (it) in terms of understanding global water trends, water quality – and how absolutely critical it is.

"If this goes after 30 years of investment, I can tell you … it will take a lot longer than 30 years to rebuild."

Dube says federal apathy for the program is especially wrong-headed because it costs so little to give Canada major international profile on a vital issue.

"What this gives us in terms of a contribution to global water sustainability is unmatched. So a million dollars is a drop in the bucket for something that has such impact."

(Virtually All of) Canada Opposed to SPP

Canadians are not confident with the current approach that the Harper or Liberal government has with our international agreements, treatment of natural resources or national water policy.

These are virtually unanimous numbers.

The remaining 10% are probably those folks who also believe Bush is a good president.

Full Story Here.

These numbers are an indictment of the policies of both the Liberals and Harper government:

  • 89 per cent want an energy policy guaranteeing Canadian supply and protecting the environment, “even if this means placing restrictions on exports and foreign ownership of Canadian supplies.”
  • 88 per cent of Canadians want a comprehensive national water policy that bans bulk exports of fresh water and recognizes water as a basic human right. There are concerns water is not protected by trade agreements.
  • 87 per cent agree Canada should set its own independent environmental, health and safety standards, “even if it might reduce cross-border trade opportunities with the United States.” Council researcher Stuart Trew said the product-safety legislation introduced last week by the Harper government includes SPP goals for harmonization by allowing greater corporate oversight of products.
  • 86 per cent agree the SPP should be debated in the House of Commons and submitted to a parliamentary vote.

I have never seen more conclusive numbers than these in my life.

Meanwhile, anyone who challenges the SPP, even in fiction seems to face an early retirement:
CBC Drops Intelligence

NAFTA: Reps From All Partners to Submit Legislation to Stop the SPP

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I don’t seem to recall the creation of the EU being such an issue, but then, I think the intentions were a little different.

Full Story Here.

The citizens of all three NAFTA countries must demand more transparency in regards to the SPP. Some believe that it might be better to scrap NAFTA and just start from scratch. The reality remains the same – in a North American Union, Canada, the U.S., and Mexico would cease to exist as sovereign nations. This is a decision that should not be left up to corporate elites, bureaucrats or politicians, but to the will of the people.

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