February 19, 2009

The Canadian Press is reporting that, "Canada and the United States appear set to take an initial step towards a North American climate-change treaty Thursday during President Barack Obama's visit to Ottawa."

"One American official said the leaders are expected to take a modest first step Thursday by announcing a clean-technology deal that would boost the practice of carbon capture and storage."

"Carbon sequestration is an emerging, but still-embryonic technology that involves harnessing emissions and pumping them deep into the soil. The Canadian government has provided $375 million to help develop the technology in recent years, and also promised a five-year, $1-billion green technology fund in the recent budget."

"Critics question the technology itself — noting that the process burns additional energy while little is known about either the long-term impact on the soil or on the potential for leakage."

February 18, 2009

CBC reports late this afternoon that, "Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams said Wednesday that AbitibiBowater will get less than it expects for assets the provincial government has moved to expropriate through legislation."

ABITIBI SAYS ITS ASSETS ARE WORTH $300 MILLION "The pulp and paper company recently put a price tag on those assets in documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, saying while it still is evaluating the full impact of the expropriation, the assets are roughly worth $300 million."

ABITIBI WILL NOT BE COMPENSATED FOR ITS WATER RIGHTS "Williams said AbitibiBowater will be compensated for its physical assets, but not the timber and water rights — and the company should expect to get less than $300 million."

"The company plans to challenge the expropriation under the North American Free Trade Agreement."

The full article is at

February 18, 2009

A media release issued today states, "On the eve of President Obama's first foreign visit to Canada, a group of over 50 prominent Canadians have signed an open letter telling Obama that the tar sands don't fit in the new energy economy."

Those signing the letter include, "actress Neve Campbell, authors Ann-Marie MacDonald and Farley Mowat, musicians Anton Kuerti and Jim Creeggan of the Barenaked Ladies, athletes Adam Kreek (Olympic Gold Medalist) and Andrew Ference (Boston Bruins defenceman), and political leaders Jack Layton of the NDP and Elizabeth May of the Green Party..."

Maude Barlow, Chairperson for the Council of Canadians and Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the UN General Assembly says, "We must look at the bigger picture and see the consequences of relying on the tar sands as an economic driver. There is an opportunity presented by the current pause in expansions to reassess, address, and develop a strategy to meet Canadians' energy security needs that transitions to sustainable energy production."

February 17, 2009

In a 10-minute interview broadcast on CBC-TV's The National this evening, President Barack Obama talked about NAFTA, the tar sands, Afghanistan, and Buy American.

"I think there are a lot of sensitivities right now because of the huge decline in world trade. As I've said before, NAFTA, the basic framework of the agreement, has environmental and labour protections as side agreements. My argument has always been that we might as well incorporate them into the full agreement so that they're fully enforceable."

"What we know is that oilsands creates a big carbon footprint. So the dilemma that Canada faces, the United States faces and China and the entire world faces, is how do we obtain the energy that we need to grow our economies in a way that is not rapidly accelerating climate change?"

"I think to the extent that Canada and the United States can collaborate on ways that we can sequester carbon, capture greenhouse gases before they're emitted into the atmosphere, that's going to be good for everybody."

February 17, 2009

We are now less than one year away from the start of the 2010 Olympics, which will take place February 12-28 in Vancouver and Whistler. As public concerns about the 2010 Olympics grow, and given the discussion at our Annual General Meeting in Edmonton, I wanted to resend this (slightly revised) email from November 2008 to all of you again outlining some of our concerns with the 2010 Olympics in Canada.