On November 6, 2012, the citizens of the United States decided to maintain, essentially, the status quo: they re-elected Barack Obama as President, left the United States House of Representatives solidly in Republican hands, and left the United States Senate under the control of the Democratic Party. But as with all U.S. elections, there are implications for Canada, which, for better or worse, is usually pulled by the tides of American regulation and economic prosperity or the lack thereof.
Following the U.S. governments delay in approving the much-hyped Keystone XL pipeline, many pundits turned their attention to the possibility of a new pipeline from the oilsands to BCs west coast that would allow Canada to ship larger amounts of oil to world markets, which currently offer a premium price relative to the U.S. Midwest.
The High Priests of the Green Religion in Vancouver City Hall are about to please their supporters with another innovation that will save Mother Earth from the users of automobiles who poison the atmosphere with carbon emissions and cause traffic congestion and deaths.
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy deserves credit for a number of courageous policy decisions during his presidency. Bringing France back into the NATO military command structure, leading NATO into and through Libya, challenging the West to get serious about Irans opaque nuclear program, and staying the course in Afghanistan despite the wars unpopularity all come to mind. But building windmills off the Normandy coast doesnt fall into that category. This is a bad idea for at least two reasons.
While some of the goals and policies included in the plan are admirable, the plan fails to provide any information on its costs. And when politicians start extolling grand visions without talking about the costs, taxpayers are well advised to hang onto their wallets.
With the arrival of reusable grocery bags, there appeared to be, at long last, a definitive eco-friendly answer to that question posed daily to consumers: Paper or plastic? Alas, it was not to be. Researchers recently discovered that the supposedly green alternative actually harbors bacteria, mold and other unappetizing organisms, albeit natural.
With Earth Day fresh in our mind, its an appropriate time to reflect on several widely-circulated reports that paint Canada as such an environmental laggard that we supposedly rank 28th out of 29 among developed countries.
One such study, Canada vs. the OECD: An Environmental Comparison, concludes that Canada has one of the poorest environmental records in the industrialized world. The report rankings have subsequently been used to support policy recommendations, without reference to the limitations and biases of the methodology.