February 19, 2009

The media conference with Prime Minister Harper and President Obama has just finished.

Harper spoke of a "new initiative to further cross-border cooperation on environmental protection and energy security."

A 'US-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue' will be launched with senior officials that will look at "clean energy science and technologies."

Obama emphasized "the development and use of clean energy." This includes "joint research and development of carbon reduction technologies and an electric grid."

Answering questions from the media, Harper asserted that Canada would "seek opportunities to harmonize (climate policies) to meet our needs."

He also asserted that US and Canadian emission targets "are more or less the same."

Harper also spoke to the need to "improve the electricity grid in North America."

Both leaders spoke to carbon capture and storage, though Obama spoke of it more in relation to "clean coal."

Later in the media conference, Obama said that he expects "continued integration" of energy.

February 19, 2009

This past Tuesday, Council of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow joined Professor Michael Byers, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Executive Director Bruce Campbell, and Rideau Institute President Steven Staples for a media conference on Parliament Hill to speak about the visit of US President Barack Obama to Canada.

To see the A-Channel coverage of that media conference please go to

February 19, 2009

Jim Stanford writes in today’s Globe and Mail that, “Global trade flows are collapsing. But it's not because protectionism is raising its ugly head. Rather, it's the meltdown of the market economy, not anti-market intrusions by governments, that is behind the meltdown of world trade. This is a key distinction because it runs headlong against the long-standing myth that ‘protectionism’ caused the Great Depression (rather than the other way around).”


February 19, 2009

Embassy Magazine has recently reported on three NAFTA challenges - the Chemtura challenge that is currently underway, and possible challenges by Dow Chemical and the makers of Bisphenol A.

"(US chemical company) Chemtura is trying to recoup more than $100 million in future lost profits following Canada's move to restrict the use of Lindane as a pesticide seed treatment."

"Ottawa has responded fiercely to Chemtura's claim. In legal papers filed last autumn, the feds grouse that the U.S. company is trying to hold Canadian taxpayers responsible for the fact 'that it can no longer profit from the sale of a toxic chemical that has been internationally banned based on demonstrated health and environmental concerns.' Canada is asking arbitrators to dismiss the case, and to hold Chemtura liable for the millions of dollars that the government will spend to defend the arbitration claim."

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."