March 27, 2009

On March 21 the Canadian Press reported that, "The Conservative government has decided to inject money into a Canada-led United Nations water monitoring program that had been floating in cash-strapped limbo for the past three years." The $2.5 million funding announcement means $500,000 to GEMS and $2 million for a water initiative at the University of Lethbridge and the University of Saskatchewan to complement GEMS.

March 26, 2009

The 30-minute on-line debate described below is now available at There is an accompanying on-line poll where you can vote for the winner of the debate (Meera).

As noted in their recent media release, " and Canadian, together with Microsoft Canada Co. will present a series of thought-provoking business debates available online....The 'Thinking the Unthinkables' series, filmed in late 2008, brings together some of the brightest business and public policy minds to talk about compelling issues facing Canadians today..."

On Thursday March 26 you can watch Council of Canadians water campaigner Meera Karunananthan and the Frontier Institute's Daniel Klymchuk debate the question Selling Water: Should Canada be selling more water?

You can watch the debate at:

March 26, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports today that, "Irving Oil Ltd. is looking to expand its energy exporting empire into electricity with a proposal to build a 600-megawatt gas-fired power plant that would be a key supplier to an ambitious new 'energy corridor' that New Brunswick and Maine plan to develop."

The gas-fired power plant, to be built near Saint John, would use "feedstock" from the $1-billion liquefied natural gas plant Irving is completing.

The article continues, "New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham and Maine Governor John Baldacci Wednesday launched a study (to be conducted by Irving) to determine the feasibility of a new transmission corridor, which would carry electricity, natural gas and gasoline from the province to the energy-hungry U.S. Northeast."

New Brunswick premier Shawn Graham says the energy corridor "is going to increase the security and reliability for the northeastern states."

March 26, 2009

The Canwest News Service reports today that, "The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has inspected fewer than six per cent of bottled water manufacturers in Canada in the last year, the agency acknowledged Wednesday."

The article continues, "Out of 282 domestic manufacturers, inspectors have visited 16 of them since last April. The agency tabled the information in the House of Commons in response to a question from a Liberal MP."

MP Francis Scarpaleggia says, "If they have only inspected about six per cent of the manufacturing plants, maybe it's because they need more inspectors."

Scarpaleggia adds that since a bottled water company doesn't have to report a problem they encounter to the CFIA, "the industry is sort of regulating itself" which raises accountability concerns.

The article is at

March 25, 2009

Gordon Laxer, director of the Parkland Institute (and Council of Canadians Board member), writes in the Globe and Mail today that, "Suncor's proposed buyout of Petro-Canada is being touted as a match made in Canada to create a national champion that will kick-start the oil sands...Despite the spin, Petro-Canada's death moves us further toward ensuring American, rather than Canadian, energy security."

"With six new pipelines heading south, (the tar sands) are aimed straight at giving a fix to America's energy addiction. More and more of Canada's dwindling supplies of natural gas are burned up to heat dirty, tarry sands for export. This is the contrary to the reasons Petro-Canada was created, supported and paid for by Canadian taxpayers."