The New Battle of Alberta

The New Battle of Alberta View this e-mail in your browser.

The new federal budget commits over one billion dollars to protect Canadian lands and waters

The government has a goal of protecting 10 per cent of Canada's oceans and 17 percent of its land by 2020. The new budget has $1.3 billion set aside to work towards achieving that.

Conservationists are calling it a win, saying it's also important that it acknowledges "the leadership of Indigenous peoples in protecting Canada’s land and waters."

The budget also contains $172 million to help Indigenous communities remove their long-term boil water advisories — and some First Nations say, enough already with the promises.

For DeSmog Canada and other non-profit outlets like us, the budget also contained what could amount to very good news. Read on to find out why.

Why Canada’s Promise to Explore Charitable Status For News Organizations is a Very, Very Good Thing

By Emma Gilchrist

A brief paragraph on page 186 of Tuesday’s federal budget held some of the best news for Canadian journalism in decades.

“Over the next year the government will be exploring new models that enable private giving and philanthropic support for trusted, professional, non-profit journalism and local news,” the budget read. “This could include new ways for Canadian newspapers to innovate and be recognized to receive charitable status for not-for-profit provision of journalism, reflecting the public interest that they serve.”

I had to read it three times to believe it. The alarm bells have been sounding on the state of Canadian media for, oh, about 50 years. Read more.

Canada Pledges $170 Million to End Water Crisis in Indigenous Communities. But Is It Enough?

By Jimmy Thomson

Cape Town, South Africa is running out of water.

Compared to Gilford Island, a Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation reserve on B.C.’s temperate rainforest coast, that sounds like an upgrade — at least in Cape Town they still have some water to drink.

Kwakwaka'wakw Hereditary Chief Bill Wilson’s mother is from that reserve.

“You have young kids breaking out in skin rashes,” says Wilson. “If it was a white community, they would have the best facilities immediately. Because it’s an Indian community nobody gives a shit.” Read more.

Canada Commits Historic $1.3 Billion to Create New Protected Areas

By Carol Linnitt

The Trudeau government committed an unprecedented $1.3 billion in Tuesday’s Budget 2018 to protect land and water in Canada over the next five years. The funds will help Canada meet its target to protect 17 per cent of land and 10 per cent of oceans by 2020 under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

“This is a very good news day for conservation in Canada,” Alison Woodley, national conservation director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, told DeSmog Canada. Read more.

The New Battle of Alberta

By Emma Gilchrist

For decades, the ‘battle of Alberta’ has alluded to the intense rivalry between Calgary and Edmonton, especially on the ice or the football field.

“The worst way to engage Edmontonians is to tell them how things are done in Calgary,” wrote Harvey Locke in a piece titled “The Two Albertas” for the Literary Review of Canada.

But as demographics shift, there’s a different kind of battle of Alberta brewing, one that doesn’t divide people along municipal boundaries. And that battle has elicited boycotts, harassment campaigns and even death threats.
Read more.

Some Federal Scientists Still Not Free to Speak About Work Under Trudeau Government

By Judith Lavoie

A 2013 survey found nine out of 10 scientists under Harper did not feel free to speak about their work, and, as public and media indignation grew, Justin Trudeau promised that would change under a Liberal government.

True to his word, after the Liberals swept to power in 2015, the restrictive communications policies of the Harper government were reversed. But, according to a new survey, that message has not reached some senior public servants who continue to prevent some scientists from talking to media or the public about their work. Read more.

Strange bedfellows: Greenpeace, CAPP Team Up in Court Case on Alberta's Abandoned Wells

By Jimmy Thomson

The Alberta government and an unlikely crew of allies — including Greenpeace, an oil lobbying firm, Ecojustice and attorneys general of four different provinces — are squaring off with ATB Financial in a Supreme Court case that could let polluters off the hook when they go bankrupt. Read more.

What Canada Can Learn From Germany’s Renewable Revolution

By Judith Lavoie

Germany is aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 95 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050. Strategies call for a 50 per cent reduction in energy consumption and a minimum of 80 per cent of the country’s energy to be generated by renewables by 2050.

Yes, it can be done, yes, there are skeptics, yes, it takes hard work and yes it is worth it, were the messages Manfred Fischedick brought to B.C. this week. Read more.

Site C: The Elephant in B.C.’s Budget By Sarah Cox

Conspicuously absent from the B.C. government’s 19-page budget speech on Tuesday was any mention of the largest publicly funded project in the province’s history.

Nor did the government devote a single word to the $10.7 billion Site C dam during last week’s Speech from the Throne, which presented the NDP’s “affordability” agenda for the coming year. Read more.

DESMOG CANADA IN THE WORLD Our editor-in-chief, Emma Gilchrist, was featured on Conversations that Matter this week. Check it out for an in-depth look at how — and why —we do what we do. "We don't do he said/she said journalism. We're doing what we like to call sense-making journalism. So we grapple in an in-depth way with some really complex issues and the stories we publish, we actually like to help people make sense of a really complicated world."
WHAT WE'RE READING THIS WEEK Investigative journalists can be quite pesky. We otter know. Have a friend who might like that about us? Send them this frisky newsletter signup link to get in on the fun. Copyright © DeSmog Canada, All rights reserved.
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