Finally, an LNG project that just might get built

Rationality can prevail, clean, abundant natural gas can be used for decades, energy ‘transition’ or not

Finally, an LNG project that just might get builtAn estimated $55-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project to take natural gas from northeastern British Columbia to its northwest coast at Pearse Island recently received the blessing and financial and political backing of the Nisga’a First Nation. The First Nation is on the proposed pipeline route and is the site of planned liquefaction terminal. This…

Rather than defund the police, rethink its core functions

Less of an officer's time should be spent on functions that don’t involve protecting the public

Rather than defund the police, rethink its core functionsRising crime rates have required Canadian police forces to reconcile managing their budgets with fighting crime. It’s not an easy balance to strike. Yet there is a simple way to save hundreds of millions of dollars: re-think the division of labour for police. Modern police officers receive extensive training to carry out tasks requiring an…

The new normal is not so normal after all

We have learned nothing from the recent past

The new normal is not so normal after allThe new normal. It's a phrase that trips lightly off the lips. But, is the new normal actually something that has changed our behaviour? I don't think so. The new normal implies that the restrictions and practices of the last year and a half have changed the way we live and move. It implies that…

The questions left unasked about Indigenous deaths

Including: how was it possible for these deaths to occur without anyone noticing?

The questions left unasked about Indigenous deathsMelissa Mollen-Dupuis and I don’t know each other but we appear to share similar thoughts on the journalism around Kamloops, B.C. and the discovery of an unmarked grave containing remains of Indigenous children. In an interview with Montreal’s Le Devoir newspaper recently, Mollen-Dupuis was sharply critical of media response to the shocking news that ground-penetrating…

B.C. needs to pull out of its debt spiral

Premier Horgan really needs to start getting his spending under control

B.C. needs to pull out of its debt spiralThe interest payments on British Columbia’s provincial debt this year could pay the salaries of 4,600 new paramedics for 10 years. But, instead of paying for first responders or providing tax relief to families, a whopping $2.8 billion is being sent to bondholders on Bay Street and Wall Street every year to pay for our…

Damned if you do: the thorny decision to remove hydro dams

Dealing with only one side of an issue – whether it’s migrating fish or electric cars – can generate more problems than it solves

Damned if you do: the thorny decision to remove hydro damsEconomists often talk about over-constrained problems. These are situations where there are so many goals to be reached and/or so many limitations that it’s impossible to find a solution that meets all requirements. Contrast this with advice often given to politicians to never talk about anything that can’t be fully described on a bumper sticker.…

A civil libertarian who is neither civil nor libertarian

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association director Harsha Walia reacted to the burning of churches by tweeting ‘Burn it all down’

A civil libertarian who is neither civil nor libertarianBritish Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) executive director Harsha Walia retweeted a Vice News article on June 30 about two Catholic churches being burned down in Canada. These terrible incidents were reportedly related to the discovery of unmarked graves of Indigenous children at three former residential schools. A retweet wouldn’t have been noticed by most…

Cheap talk and unsubstantiated claims hamper reconciliation

Vacuous electoral promises and virtue-signalling schemes won’t deliver the outcomes Indigenous Canadians need

Cheap talk and unsubstantiated claims hamper reconciliationCanada has consistently failed to make progress commensurate with the many lofty pronouncements and expectations on the Indigenous file. It’s a national shame that most Indigenous Canadians on reservations live far below acceptable socio-economic standards. Money isn’t the problem. By 2022, the federal budget allocations to Indigenous will have doubled since 2016 to nearly $25…

ConnecTour Chronicles: An artistic treasure trove in a former biker bar

By the door is an original painting by renowned Indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau, one of dozens of pieces in Wilking’s collection

ConnecTour Chronicles: An artistic treasure trove in a former biker barDoug Firby, publisher of Troy Media, and columnist Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on May 28 in British Columbia, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our sense of community. Watch for…

B.C. politicians using taxpayer money to get elected

Using taxpayers’ money for partisan purposes is wrong

B.C. politicians using taxpayer money to get electedIf cheating taxpayers out of their money were a card game, politicians would beat the house every time. Politicians in British Columbia have taken around $30 million of your money over the past few years. They’re spending it on attack ads, lawn signs and junk mail. This money taken from taxpayers is officially called the…

ConnectTour Chronicles: Highlights, lowlights and lessons learned so far

Learn to take it one pedal stroke at a time. And even though that hill can look intimidating, just get into the zone and take it slow

ConnectTour Chronicles: Highlights, lowlights and lessons learned so farDoug Firby, publisher of Troy Media, and columnist Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on May 28 in British Columbia, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our sense of community. Watch for…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Content to live with old mining town’s ghosts

Some of our group chose to sleep outside in tents rather than risk the ire of these troubled spirits. Two brave souls slept inside

ConnecTour Chronicles: Content to live with old mining town’s ghostsDoug Firby, publisher of Troy Media, is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on May 28 in Kelowna, B.C. (B.C. travel restrictions derailed a planned start in Victoria), they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: A brush with heat stroke and then hypothermia

Transport trucks, cars and four-by-fours roared by us, some so close we were showered in road spray and rocked by the wind gusts

ConnecTour Chronicles: A brush with heat stroke and then hypothermiaDoug Firby, publisher of Troy Media, is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on May 28 in Kelowna, B.C. (B.C. travel restrictions derailed a planned start in Victoria), they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

Let’s leave residential school tragedies in the past

The dead should be appropriately honoured. But some opportunists will exploit these dead children for financial and political gain

Let’s leave residential school tragedies in the pastThe discovery of human remains at a former residential school site has set off a firestorm that has already resulted in demands for another national inquiry and massively expensive forensic and excavation projects. But maybe we should pause and ask some questions. The Kamloops Indian Residential School operated as a residential school from 1890 to…

B.C. drivers burned by highest gas taxes in Canada

It costs about $50 extra in taxes to fill up a minivan in Metro Vancouver, not including the cost of the fuel

B.C. drivers burned by highest gas taxes in CanadaAs we see the light at the end of the COVID Tunnel of Hell, many families hope to hit the roads to explore beautiful British Columbia this summer. Safe road trips will be essential after the strain many have been under during the pandemic. But, because B.C. drivers are being burned by the highest gas…

We must discover the truth, no matter how horrible

We must find out the truth about residential schools if we are to heal from the wounds caused by our cruelty

We must discover the truth, no matter how horribleThe recent discovery of the bodies of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School is tragic but not at all surprising. In 1907, federal medical inspector Dr. Peter Bryce provided a report to the Department of Indian Affairs regarding the horrendous health conditions at residential schools across Canada. Those conditions resulted in up to…

ConnecTour Chronicles: One man’s gear is another man’s gold

Across from our campsite sat a gangly young man named Scott, who had been homeless for 10 years and was trying to find some normalcy

ConnecTour Chronicles: One man’s gear is another man’s goldLisa Montforton is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on May 28 in Kelowna, B.C. (B.C. travel restrictions derailed a planned start in Victoria), they hope to make an 8,000-km journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our sense of community. Watch for…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Kindness comes in a bucket of ice and jug of water

ConnecTour Chronicles: Kindness comes in a bucket of ice and jug of waterDoug Firby, publisher of Troy Media, is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on Friday in Kelowna, B.C. (B.C. travel restrictions derailed a planned start in Victoria), they hope to make an 8,000-km journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our sense of…

Scientists looking to develop new types of trees

Want to develop trees that grow faster, resist insects and disease, and are resilient in a changing climate

Scientists looking to develop new types of treesAs one of Alberta’s leading sectors, forestry relies on healthy trees but, faced with challenges including climate change and environmental sustainability, there's a need for constant improvement. Creating ways to develop fast-growing, well-adapted trees in the province is a task that researcher Barb Thomas and her team of scientists in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences…

B.C. emissions rising despite highest carbon tax in Canada

$14 billion in extra taxes, with nothing to show for it

B.C. emissions rising despite highest carbon tax in CanadaEmissions are going up in British Columbia, despite having the highest carbon tax in Canada. Since we all miss going to concerts, let’s put this into a West Coast grunge style. Everything is not Zen if we keep making people pay carbon taxes to reduce emissions while emissions keep going up. Government documents show that…

Why do city planners put bicycles ahead of people?

People who don’t have yards or nearby open spaces should come before bicyclists

Why do city planners put bicycles ahead of people?Vancouver city council is considering a motion this week to turn sections of Granville Street and Commercial Drive into European-style pedestrian-friendly malls by reducing or eliminating automobile access. This is described as putting people over cars. Reducing car traffic leads to cleaner air and quieter neighbourhoods – good things. Some local businesses will benefit. But…

Democracies can’t abandon oil and gas production

We have to beware tyrannies and autocracies that use oil and natural gas as weapons

Democracies can’t abandon oil and gas productionBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre History shows tyrannies and autocracies use oil and natural gas as weapons when interacting with democracies. This is obvious during wars – tanks and jets don’t run on vegetable oil – as well as peacetime. For example, in 2009, Russia cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine in…

B.C. can’t keep spending like there’s no tomorrow

The Horgan government says that by 2024, it’s going to be $127 billion. That’s an increase of 45 per cent in three years

B.C. can’t keep spending like there’s no tomorrowThe sun will come out tomorrow and we need to start acting like it. Politicians keep telling us that we need to buckle up while they overspend like there’s no future, but, when we finally emerge from the COVID Tunnel of Hell, taxpayers can’t afford for governments to keep spending our bottom dollars. Premier John…

Asia offers huge payoff for Canadian LNG producers

Anti-gas advocates who claim otherwise are daft

Asia offers huge payoff for Canadian LNG producersBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre If you’ve heard that Canada should skip plans to export natural gas to Asia, including from a few anti-oil-and-gas academics, you’ll notice one theme pops up: how Canadian firms really shouldn’t waste their time because there’s no money in it. This reasoning is daft. If there…

B.C. budget must be prudent

Provincial debt is more than $75 billion, and it’s increasing by $100 per second

B.C. budget must be prudentBritish Columbia’s last budget feels like something from a distant, pre-pandemic past. Now the province’s throne speech gives a little glance into the future budget. And if we’re going to get back to balanced budgets, we’re going to have to go faster than Marty McFly to fix our finances in the future. Back in the…

Alaskan campaign could kill B.C. cruise industry

The state wants non-U.S. cruise ships to be allowed to go straight from continental U.S. ports to Alaska, cutting out B.C. entirely

Alaskan campaign could kill B.C. cruise industryYou may think British Columbia has a cruise ship industry because of our great location, marvellous climate and amazing attractions, natural or otherwise. You would be wrong. We have a cruise industry here because of actions by the United States 100 years ago to put America first. The U.S. wanted to ensure that it had…

Carbon tax will cost British Columbians more

Think you can avoid the carbon tax by riding your bike? Think again

Carbon tax will cost British Columbians moreBritish Columbians are now paying even more to heat, eat and drive to work. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's most recent carbon tax hike has found a willing follower in British Columbia Premier John Horgan. When Team Trudeau was fighting against several provinces at the Supreme Court of Canada, saying he should be able to impose…

A web of pipelines binds the Canada, U.S. economies together

453,000 km worth of tubes provide a plethora of jobs

A web of pipelines binds the Canada, U.S. economies togetherBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre “Designing hypothetical roadmaps outlining complete elimination of fossil carbon from the global energy supply by 2050 is nothing but an exercise in wishful thinking that ignores fundamental physical realities,” wrote Vaclav Smil a year ago. Smil, a University of Manitoba professor of the environment (emeritus), wants less…

B.C. needs city hall recall

We need the power to recall local politicians who are doing a bad job between elections

B.C. needs city hall recallMost people probably haven’t spent much time in a champagne room, but taxpayers in the Kamloops area have paid the tab for that kind of fancy night out. Folks there are grappling with a shocking amount of bad spending by their local government, and it’s highlighting our province’s need for a municipal auditor general and…

Governments taking cautious approach to cannabis marketing

Marketing after legalization suggests most provinces are seeking to distance cannabis from existing alcohol and gaming brands

Governments taking cautious approach to cannabis marketingThe provinces have been largely ambivalent to the sale of cannabis and even appear to employ a “demarketing” strategy, according to a University of Alberta look at the branding behind legalization that also showed flexible public policy can be beneficial in times of uncertainty. “Our initial expectation was that governments would be competing fairly effectively…
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