The road to hell is paved with good intentions, an economics professor of mine used to say back in the late 1980s. Concerned about the federal government’s inability to reign in fiscal deficits, hell back then was hitting a “financial wall” where the markets would no longer lend or would only do so at catastrophically …
“If you asked me two weeks ago if this could have happened, I would have said it couldn’t.” Imperial Metals president Brian Kynoch, spoke these words at a news conference on August 5, 2014, the day after the devastating collapse of a tailings dam at one of Imperial’s operations, the Mount Polley copper and gold …
In the past year, an energy dispute for the ages has played out in Canada, culminating in the federal government announcing that it will buy an aging oil pipeline for $4.5 billion and then twin it with a new high-capacity pipeline that would move massive amounts of diluted bitumen from Alberta to tidewater in British …
The BC government recently released three “intentions papers” on climate policy—transportation, buildings and industry—all wrapped in the term “clean growth.” In fact, the term “clean” appears more than 70 times in just the introduction to the exercise, Towards a Clean Growth Future in BC. Clean growth is not a commonly used term, nor is it …
Now that we are in a sunny lull between the end of flooding season and the start of fire season, it’s time we had a talk about fossil fuels and climate change in BC. The BC government deserves praise for standing up to Alberta and the federal government over the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX), …
At the height of LNG-mania in 2013/14, high prices in Asia fueled a gold rush mentality in BC—based on shipping cheap BC gas to Asia for mega-profits. But those high prices proved only temporary, and by 2015 the economic case for LNG (liquified natural gas) turned on its head. The subsequent Asian price for gas …
If you have a public pension in BC, your retirement savings are likely fuelling the climate change crisis. The pensions of over half a million British Columbians are administered by the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI), formerly known as the bcIMC. It’s the fourth largest pension fund manager in Canada and controls one of …
Everyone is talking about the high price of gas in Metro Vancouver, which hit a new record in May, topping $1.60 per litre. The story making the rounds is that taxes are to blame—in particular the April 1 increase in BC’s carbon tax. Some have seized on this moment to call for tax cuts to …
Earlier this year, Premier John Horgan announced that the British Columbia government was prepared to offer billions of dollars in tax breaks to Royal Dutch Shell should the global fossil fuel giant build a massive liquefied natural gas plant on our province’s north coast. Absent from the news then, however, was any mention of how …
So how sound are the claims being used to justify the federal government’s expenditure of up to $12 billion in taxpayer funds to purchase Kinder-Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion (TMX) project? The Trudeau government says the purchase is in the ‘national interest’, will create thousands of jobs, and that delays in the project are costing Canada …
On an April morning in 2014, members of the Fort Nelson First Nation tucked into a helicopter to begin a day of flying to fossil fuel company operations in their territory. The Nation’s lands are part of the expansive Treaty 8 territory that includes northeast British Columbia. A professional biologist from Fort St. John was …
Alberta’s threat last month to cut oil supplies to British Columbia and thereby cause gasoline prices to spike is not an original idea. It is called the oil weapon: holding a supply of critical oil over your customer’s head. As detailed in Daniel Yergin’s tome on the oil industry, The Prize, it was most famously …