Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) government implemented a multi-pronged strategy to demolish the vestiges of university autonomy and self-governance and to assert direct political control over post-secondary education institutions (PSEIs). This takeover stems from the UCP leaders’ ideological antipathy toward all public goods and their desire to recommodify education, health care and parks, while stripping …
The oil and gas royalty regime in British Columbia needs a major overhaul. The re-elected NDP promised during the election campaign to review oil and gas royalties and credits. In the context of a climate emergency the need for a managed wind-down is urgent. Despite “natural” gas being a finite greenhouse-gas-generating fossil fuel, the royalty …
Scientists predict caribou herds located in northeastern BC will go extinct within our lifetimes. How could this be? We were led to believe that environmental oversight introduced decades ago would protect this iconic Canadian species despite the large-scale industrial development that threatens them. We were promised a win-win: thriving caribou and a thriving economy. Fast …
An enduring lesson from COVID-19 is that where there’s a will there’s a way. Faced with a pandemic, governments have risen to the challenge and made profound changes that would have seemed impossible mere months before. We now need to shift this out-of-the-box thinking to the existential threat posed by climate change. The need to …
Even before the arrival of COVID-19, the history of the Second World War was making a remarkable comeback. Our movie theatres (remember those?), Netflix offerings and bookstore shelves were full of modern reboots of our mid-century wartime experience. Then the global pandemic struck, and suddenly, everyone is drawing comparisons to the Second World War.  As …
Last week my report “Reassessment of Need for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project” was published by the Parkland Institute and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The Canadian Energy Centre (aka Premier Jason Kenney’s “War Room”) took exception to my report and wrote a hit piece designed to discredit it,“A Matter of Fact: CCPA report …
New research from veteran earth scientist David Hughes concludes that the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project (TMX) makes no financial sense. In fact, Alberta heavy oil producers can expect to lose money on every barrel of oil they produce and move through TMX. Contrary to claims that bringing heavy oil to tidewater for export to …
This report concludes that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project (TMX) is not needed to meet forecasted Canadian capacity needs. The author, J. David Hughes, also demonstrates that contrary to claims that bringing heavy oil to tidewater for export to Asia will fetch a higher price, it will likely instead sell at a loss of $4-$6 per barrel. …
Court documents and FOI materials show BC Hydro knew shale would move at troubled construction project, yet Hydro proceeded with river diversion   BC Hydro approved the pouring of massive amounts of concrete to build a buttress at its problem-plagued Site C dam project months before a critical drainage tunnel was completed to draw water …
The result of a truly collaborative research effort, Renewable Regina: Putting Equity into Action, makes the case that the City of Regina’s efforts to achieve 100 percent renewability must be equitable if they hope to succeed. Through interviews with 25 community-based organizations, this report demonstrates how City leaders and planners must understand how access to …
BC Hydro knew 30 years before it started building the Site C dam that its chosen location for the most expensive publicly funded infrastructure project in British Columbia’s history had big problems.  In fact, by the 1980s, BC Hydro had done tests showing that the ground at Site C had serious flaws “due to the …
This report assesses the emissions implications of the Canada Energy Regulator’s (CER) 2019 oil and gas production forecast for BC, and the implications of ramping up gas production for liquified natural gas (LNG) export. The British Columbia government has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent from 2007 levels by 2050 through …