Friday, January 19, 2007

U.S. urges fivefold expansion in Alberta

U.S. urges "fivefold expansion" in Alberta oilsands production
"The U.S. wants Canada to dramatically expand its oil exports from the Alberta oilsands, a move that could have major implications on the environment.
U.S.and Canadian oil executives and government officials met for a two-day oil summit in Houston in January 2006 and made plans for a "fivefold expansion" in oilsands production in a relatively "short time span.
Canada is already the top exporter of oil to the American market, exporting the equivalent of one million barrels a day — the exact amount that the oilsands industry in Alberta currently produces."

Which reminded us of this :
"But the current extraction of oil from the tarsands results in the spewing of millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere: it's already the biggest source of new greenhouse gas emissions in Canada."

But it's cool because Steve is on it :
"Canada's natural resources will be developed but that will not be done at the expense of the environment," Dmitri Soudas [PM's office] told the Canadian Press.
Canada's main oil lobby group said there is no pledge to increase production five-fold for the Americans.
"There is no promise," said Greg Stringham of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers."

OK. So why then did Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn stand beside federal Environment Minister John Baird yesterday and say this? :
"As we see the potential increase in (oilsands) production, moving from a million barrels a day up to four or five (million), we need to do better. I think there's great promise in the oilsands for nuclear energy," Lunn said."There's a great opportunity to pursue nuclear energy -- something that I'm very keen on."

Why so very keen, Gary? Well, perhaps because of this :
"Paul Michael Weaby, a Washington insider and an expert on the geo-strategic aspect of the oil industry, said Bush is counting on Canada to help wean the United States off Middle Eastern oil — a goal now defined as a national security objective."
He wanted to have a reduction of 1.5 million barrels a day by 2015 from the Middle East. Although he did not mention Canada, that is in fact where the replacement supply will come from."

The Alberta oilsands as a U.S. national security objective.
Surprised? No. Me neither.
Think if Canada doesn't grow some nukes and produce those 5 million barrels a day, that we will be treated any better than Venezuela, that other old western U.S. oil supplier?
No. Me neither.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

WTF is it NAU?

The Royal Bank has been refusing to open American dollar accounts for Canadian citizens with dual citizenship in Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea or Myanmar since April 2006.
The Royal Bank has confirmed it is conforming with U.S. Treasury Department laws.

According to CBC :
"A spokesperson for the federal Finance Department said it was unaware of the practice, and that the bank could be liable for heavy fines."

Now, as it happens, the Royal Bank has a blog [Ed. note - and rivetting stuff it is too] and on this blog they are running a contest : The Next Great Innovator Challenge.
Drop by and let them know that your idea of a great innovation is abiding by Canadian law.

Bonus Reading : The Case For the Amero - The Economics and Politics of a North American Monetary Union, a Fraser Institute report by Conservative/Reform Party member Herb Grubel.
I especially liked this line with its quotation marks :
"#39 Resistance to the amero will be lessened by continuing to call it officially a "dollar".

Friday, January 12, 2007

SPP : Stupid Papineauville Policy

Does the Municipality of Papineauville, Quebec have any idea of the irony of pronouncing the authority of the US Army to deny the Council of Canadians the right to protest deep integration with the US on Canadian soil?

From the Council of Canadians :
"The Municipality of Papineauville, which is about six kilometres from Montebello, has informed the Council of Canadians that the RCMP, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and the U.S. Army will not allow the municipality to rent the Centre Communautaire de Papineauville for a public forum on Sunday August 19, on the eve of the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership Leaders Summit.

The Council of Canadians has been told that the RCMP and the SQ will be enforcing a 25-kilometre security perimeter around the Chateau Montebello, where Stephen Harper will meet with George W. Bush and Felipe Calderón on August 20 and 21."

The US Army will not allow the municipality...?
A 25K security perimeter? WTF?

From the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms :
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
  • a) freedom of conscience and religion;
  • b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
  • c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
  • d) freedom of association.
No mention in there anywhere of these rights being subject to the whims of the US Army.
Note that Papineauville evidently didn't feel the authority of the RCMP was sufficient unto itself here.
Or have we officially given up bothering to distinguish between the policies of the RCMP and those of the US Army?

UPDATE : From Thursday's Ottawa Citizen :
"Mr. Patterson [of Council of Canada] said Frederic Castonguay, the town's general manager, reported that Guy Cote, of the Quebec police force in Montreal, had told him the council "is an activist organization opposed to the summit and that it would not be wise to have us set up in the community centre."

Mr. Castonguay yesterday confirmed he had been called by Mr. Cote, who told him that the police and U.S. army need the community centre as a base of operations for summit security."