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October 22, 2009

MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release
October 22, 2009

UNPRECEDENTED NUMBER OF CANADIANS TO TAKE PART IN WORLD'S LARGEST POLITICAL DEMONSTRATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

Canada 2nd only to U.S. in number of activities planned for global day of action

Ottawa – Tens of thousands of Canadians from all walks of life and from every province and territory will hit streets, auditoriums and Capital Hill this Saturday, joining millions of people taking part in more than 3000 events registered worldwide, in support of stronger federal action and a global agreement on climate change in the weeks before the landmark UN summit in Copenhagen.

Canada is second only to the United States in terms of the number of events planned.

October 22, 2009

The Canwest News Service reports that, "Canada's largest seniors' advocacy group has escalated its pension-reform campaign with the release of a paper calling for a new, national pension plan to replace the Canada Pension Plan."

"A new public retirement savings plan that is 'universally accessible, affordable, adequate and sustainable,' is needed to replace woefully inadequate CPP benefits, says CARP, formerly known as the Canadian Association of Retired People."

"The position paper for a new universal plan contains few specifics. CARP says it could be a single national fund modelled on the CPP or a system of provincial and even regional funds."

The CARP website is at http://www.carp.ca/.

Today's news report is at http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Seniors+advocacy+group+calls+national+replacement/2130154/story.html.

October 22, 2009

The Telegraph-Journal reports that, "The Council of Canadians is calling on the city to adopt water policies that oppose the private sector's involvement in the treatment and distribution of the precious resource."

"The council, a citizens group that receives support from labour organizations, wants Saint John to ban the sale of bottled water in municipal buildings and fund a new water treatment system with public, and not private, money."

"The group's requests are part of a campaign called the Blue Communities Project. The organization would designate municipalities that meet the criteria as a 'blue community', although no local governments have qualified yet."

Water campaigner Meera Karunananthan told reporters yesterday that, "It's an ambitious plan, but we are relying on the leadership of municipal governments, starting right here in Saint John. We're hoping that Saint John will have the vision and the leadership to take on this project."

October 22, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports today that, "The U.S. climate-change debate is about to heat up as the Senate begins debating legislation that would create a national cap-and-trade system... (and) the (Obama) administration has served notice to opponents of the climate-change bill that, without legislation, the Environmental Protection Agency will regulate emissions."

"The Harper government is following the U.S. lead on climate policy, arguing the two economies are too intertwined for disparate approaches. But, at the same time, Ottawa is attempting to head off any U.S. measures that would stifle growth in the Canadian oil sands."

"(Obama's energy and environment adviser John) Podesta told his Canadian audience (in Ottawa yesterday) that the new administration is ambivalent about demands from environmental groups and some Democrats to use climate regulations to block expansion of the oil sands."

"While the White House is keen to reduce U.S. reliance on 'dirty' oil, administration officials are also well aware that Alberta boasts the world's second-largest reserve of crude, and represents a secure source of energy for American consumers."

October 22, 2009

Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson writes about the funds committed by the Canadian and Alberta governments over the past two weeks for the TransAlta Corp. carbon-capture and storage project and the Shell carbon storage project.

$1.6 BILLION SPENT
"The two announcements – both for coal-fired facilities, the oil sands therefore remaining untouched – mean about $1.6-billion in taxpayer money in the years ahead, or about $220 for a family of four."

WHAT DO WE GET FOR THAT $1.6 BILLION?
1- "We get, at best, a reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions of 2.1 million tonnes. 'At best' because the announcements were tempered with hedging words such as 'could' achieve and 'up to one million tonnes.' Therefore, something less than 2.1 million tonnes might actually be captured."

2- $1.6-billion spent to bury 2.1 million tonnes of carbon means a cost of about $761 per tonne. By contrast, "Alberta has a piddling carbon tax on emissions over a certain level that companies can avoid by paying $15 a tonne into a technology fund."

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