Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer Sabbatical time

The Dog Days of Summer have arrived and the only solution to the condition is to take it to the highway!

It's  time for the annual summer break, so we'll be shutting down the new content for the blog through the rest of August, with plans to return to our efforts in a couple of weeks or so.

With our sabbatical, updates for many of our features that require attention on an ongoing basis will be in hibernation for that period.  

We'll play a bit of catch up upon our return, filling in the gaps as best we can.

Feel free to wander through the various topics listed on the right hand column, you may find some items of interest that you may have missed when they first came out.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Saturday/Sunday, August 13 and 14, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

B.C.'s profound moral failure on disability rates
Death to the single family home for a more livable Vancouver says UBC professor
Unpaid ICBC claims could lead to increase in rates, says B.C. NDP
Pressure is on Christy clark as overdose death-toll rises
New research will help salmon
B.C. Liberals failing on housing policy
Three principles to create better schools
Surrey mother talks to IIO about son's death

Ottawa Observations: Saturday/Sunday, August 13 & 14, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for Saturday/Sunday, August 13 and 14, 2016.

B.C. mother of abducted children feels Trudeau has failed her
Trudeau's apology to sexual minorities is welcome, but many await action
Mike Duffy's lawyer, Donald Bayne, dissects his defence strategy
Canadian auto parts makers urge Ottawa revamp funding
The Liberals promised peacekeeping, but it's not 1957 anymore
Justin Trudeau's turn to lead in a time of terror
Canada preparing for all outcomes of U. S. election
Document compares CBC, BBC as Liberals review public broadcaster
Liberals put on the spot by Streit sales in South Sudan and Libya
Liberal cabinet minister Dominic Leblanc loses control of website
Is the Green Party ready for life after Elizabeth May
Closure of RCMP bomb data centre lamented by police
Foreign workers are being exploited to grow medical marijuana here
Yazidi crisis must be handled prudently
U.S. discontent with NAFTA hangs over Canadian auto talks
Liberals to announce details of anti-terror program aimed at curbing radicalization
Logistics woes could strain military deployments
Liberals will use Canada's relative serenity to lure trade, investment
Trudeau's confused reconciliation agenda
Apologies to First Peoples a crucial reconciliation step
First NDP, now Greens - the left is toast and Trudeau rules all
Sen. Mike Duffy and his middle finger salute
It's time to jail terrorists, says Tory leadership candidate Tony Clement
Canada's counter-radicalization efforts have 'little national coherence,' Public Safety minister says
'I cried': mother of Calgary man who dies in Syria fighting with ISIL says government failed Aaron Driver
Thousands of criminals could be released because of clogged courtrooms, delays: Senate report

Friday, August 12, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Friday, August 12, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

Fences surround Victoria homeless camp as facility officially closed
Christy Clark visits Ahousaht for economic agreement, emergency preparedness funding
Vancouver Transit Police warned of threat prior to foiled Ontario terror attack
Lower Fraser ban on salmon fishing hits sport fishery hard
Golf carts to be allowed on roads in 2 B.C. towns
Final goodbye to tent city, ramshackle Victoria B.C. camp dismantled
Feds face B.C. pressure over temporary foreign worker program
Children's lawyer will help B.C.'s most vulnerable kids, Turpel-Lafond says
B.C. minister 'proud' of past opposition to $9-billion megaproject
Restoring salmon abundance must be priority
It's official tent city is closed; now, rebuild starts
Fishery shutdown sparks outcry from anglers
Court reforms are needed
B.C. citizenship medal goes to rescuers who helped in Tofino whale-watching disaster
Banks Island miners face 18 pollution charges
We should all be concerned about ogling for profit in Vancouver's Downtown east side

Ottawa Observations: Friday, August 12, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for Friday, August 12, 2016

Southern Ontario Terror incident

Ontario community questions RCMP's handling of terror case
Court delays could result in release of thousands of criminals: Senate report
The limits of peace bonds as an anti-terror tool
Aaron Driver was turning his life around and 'seemed happy' older brother says
It's folly to assume Canada is immune to terrorism
Canada needs to fight ISIS hard
Bill C-51 played a part in thwarting Driver's attack
Driver case will focus Liberal fixes to anti-terror law
The real test will come when our luck runs out

The power of an apology
For the countless Canadians humiliated by anti-gay policies, healing can - finally - begin
Thousands of young Canadians seek spot on Trudeau youth council
John McCallum wants to 'substantially increase' immigration to fill Canada's labour needs
Phoenix payroll debacle causing 'significant stress' and staffing challenges for coast guard
Air passengers with complaints urged to contact Canadian Transportation Agency
Indigenous people overrepresented in justice system a 'sad reality': Jody Wilson-Raybould
Elizabeth May could quit as Green Party leader this month
DND move into 'Pentagon North' at Nortel campus faces another delay
Site C 'Running roughshod' over Indigenous rights, Wilson-Raybould Said in 2012
B.C. minister 'proud' of past opposition to $9-billion megaproject

Saskatchewan farmers, government officials have concerns on transportation and labour issues at Prince Rupert terminal

Saskatchewan farmers and government
officials are keeping an eye on
transportation and labour issues related
to the transportation of grain this fall
Farmers across Canada's western provinces face any number of challenges when it comes to bring in the crops and get them to market. From drought to sudden rain and wind issues to transportation bottle necks the shift from growing season to shipment time is  now on the radar for provincial officials in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.

For the Saskatchewan government the ability of Canadian National and Canadian Pacific to get grain and other crops to port facilities on the west coast is once again capturing some of their focus.

In a number of media opportunities over the last few days, Saskatchewan's Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart offered up some thoughts on the stresses that the rail system has faced in the past, noting that with a strong crop year on track for shipment for this fall, Canada's transportation system will need to be at peak efficiency to get the crop to shipment terminals.

Both railways have offered up their reassurances to the Saskatchewan government that they are more than ready to accept and deliver the anticipated large volumes that could be on the way for this fall.

Grain Cars on a siding at the Prince Rupert waterfront 

Stewart also noted that he's keeping an eye on potential labour troubles at the Port of Prince Rupert, observing that there is the potential for a labour disruption on the North Coast heading into the fall.

In comments to a Saskatoon based news site, the Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister noted that Saskatchewan officials had received information that employees on the North Coast had provided their union with a strike mandate to back contract talks.

With the need to ship crops to world markets without any lengthy delays, the Saskatchewan agriculture minister is already encouraging the Federal Government to consider back to work legislation, just in case the worst case scenario of a west coast port shutdown should come to pass.

Some of the concerns over the shipment of crops from Saskatchewan to terminals on the west coast can be found below:

August 11 -- Saskatchewan warns railways to be ready to transport larger-than-average crop
August 11 -- Rail companies say they're ready for large grain crop
August 10 -- Ag Minister Stewart warning feds, grain companies, railways to get ready for above-average crop

Some of our past notes on CN operations on the North Coast can be found here, while more background on items of interest from Prince Rupert Grain can be reviewed on our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

No extension planned for Pacific NorthWest LNG CEAA review

The target is still mid October for the
CEAA Report on the proposed
Pacific NorthWest LNG
Terminal at Lelu Island

(artist visual from
Pacific NW LNG website
October will remain the target for delivery for the highly anticipated CEAA report on the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal proposal, as the Federal environmental review agency has reportedly informed two groups requesting more time that there will be no extension provided towards delivering their findings.

The Globe and Mail reported the latest development in the Pacific NorthWest LNG review process on Wednesday, noting that the federal review agency had advised the Gitanyow First Nation and former Lax Kw'alaams Mayor Garry Reece that they were holding to their schedule with the report to be handed off to the Federal Cabinet by mid October.

 In the same article Globe and Mail reporter Brent Jang observed that the CEAA had offered assurances that the proposed Terminal project would not ruin the salmon catches of British Columbia Aboriginals who fish upstream on the Skeena River.

The full article can be reviewed here.

It was the second Globe article in recent which weeks which indicated that the proposed terminal posed a low risk to B.C's salmon habitat, with this July 28th item outlining the background to a submission from the Department of Oceans and Fisheries on the theme of impact on fish.

With the finish line in sight for the lengthy review process that has marked the timeline of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, once the report is delivered to the Federal Cabinet the Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau, the Federal government will then provide their decision on the major industrial proposal for the North Coast.

That however won't be the final word on whether the project moves forward or faces further delay.

As we noted on the blog earlier this month, officials from Petronas energy, the Malaysian parent company of Pacific NorthWest LNG confirmed recent rumours that they will be conducting their own review of all the components of the proposed development, once that Federal decision has been delivered.

You can review the many twists and turns on the story that has dominated the North Coast's imagination from our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review