Skip directly to content

Feed aggregator

Letter to the Editor: Give Capital Region a Say on Pipeline: August 28, 2014

Green Party of Canada News - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 17:23

To the Editor,

I couldn't agree more with Mayor Fortin that citizens of southern Vancouver Island must have a say, and a definitive say, about the proposal to dramatically increase bitumen-loaded tankers through our waters.  I am also an intervenor in the Kinder-Morgan National Energy Board hearing process.  By reducing the process to largely a paper exercise, by eliminating the opportunity for oral cross-examination, the weakness of Kinder Morgan's evidence may escape public exposure. 

I first appeared before the National Energy Board as counsel in 1980.  It is a quasi-judicial body and cross-examination is an essential element of the process. In fact, only under Harper has the NEB started denying the right of cross-examination.  The fact that Stephen Harper wants the NEB to report quickly is not sufficient justification for eliminating the rights of intervenors.  I have retained respected lawyer Clayton Ruby to represent me to challenge the process if cross-examination is not allowed.

I have worked my way through the 15,000 pages of Kinder Morgan's application.  I believe its length is intended to impress and intimidate. It is long because it is duplicative and contains masses of irrelevant and bogus material.  I have found some amazing bloopers.  They claim that dilbit (the mixture of bitumen and toxic condensate they are shipping) will behave just like crude in the marine environment.  We know crude is a disaster when spilled, but we know from the Enbridge Kalamazoo River spill that dilbit is worse and impossible to clean up. In an appendix, I found the technical report setting out KM's evidence. It was a test conducted in Alberta over a thirteen day period. Contractors for Kinder Morgan  put salt water in tanks and then dumped in dilbit.  Then they stirred and took other action they claimed approximated wind and wave action in the natural environment. The tanks held 26.5 m3 (7,000) gallons.  Additional tests were done in a 1m x1m  x 1m fish tank and in plastic five gallon pails. The five gallon pail and fish tank research went awry, even according to the researchers:

 "Errors occurred in the fish tank, because the spill was installed in a manner that resulted in a large amount of dispersion at the outset, due to air ingestion, and the resulting slick was larger than the ruler and developed an asymmetric form.”

In other words, this so-called research was conducted by a team over 13 days that didn't have a ruler the right size to measure a spill in a five gallon bucket. That is not the only example of shoddy work in the KM application.   Another intervenor spotted that the model KM used to forcast oil spill dispersion, which KM claimed in the report was a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved method, was a draft EPA publication which had failed at peer review.  KM had emoved the word "draft" from its submission. This is tantamount to fraud.

We must not allow the NEB process to be a paper exercise.  We need to be in the room with the right to cross-examine Kinder Morgan.


Elizabeth May, O.C.
Member of Parliament
Saanich-Gulf Islands 

Leader
Green Party of Canada

Letter to the Editor: Give Capital Region a Say on Pipeline: August 28, 2014

Letter to the Editor: Give Capital Region a Say on Pipeline: August 28, 2014

Green Party of Canada News - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 17:21

To the Editor,

I couldn't agree more with Mayor Fortin that citizens of southern Vancouver Island must have a say, and a definitive say, about the proposal to dramatically increase bitumen-loaded tankers through our waters.  I am also an intervenor in the Kinder-Morgan National Energy Board hearing process.  By reducing the process to largely a paper exercise, by eliminating the opportunity for oral cross-examination, the weakness of Kinder Morgan's evidence may escape public exposure. 

I first appeared before the National Energy Board as counsel in 1980.  It is a quasi-judicial body and cross-examination is an essential element of the process. In fact, only under Harper has the NEB started denying the right of cross-examination.  The fact that Stephen Harper wants the NEB to report quickly is not sufficient justification for eliminating the rights of intervenors.  I have retained respected lawyer Clayton Ruby to represent me to challenge the process if cross-examination is not allowed.

I have worked my way through the 15,000 pages of Kinder Morgan's application.  I believe its length is intended to impress and intimidate. It is long because it is duplicative and contains masses of irrelevant and bogus material.  I have found some amazing bloopers.  They claim that dilbit (the mixture of bitumen and toxic condensate they are shipping) will behave just like crude in the marine environment.  We know crude is a disaster when spilled, but we know from the Enbridge Kalamazoo River spill that dilbit is worse and impossible to clean up. In an appendix, I found the technical report setting out KM's evidence. It was a test conducted in Alberta over a thirteen day period. Contractors for Kinder Morgan  put salt water in tanks and then dumped in dilbit.  Then they stirred and took other action they claimed approximated wind and wave action in the natural environment. The tanks held 26.5 m3 (7,000) gallons.  Additional tests were done in a 1m x1m  x 1m fish tank and in plastic five gallon pails. The five gallon pail and fish tank research went awry, even according to the researchers:

 "Errors occurred in the fish tank, because the spill was installed in a manner that resulted in a large amount of dispersion at the outset, due to air ingestion, and the resulting slick was larger than the ruler and developed an asymmetric form.”

In other words, this so-called research was conducted by a team over 13 days that didn't have a ruler the right size to measure a spill in a five gallon bucket. That is not the only example of shoddy work in the KM application.   Another intervenor spotted that the model KM used to forcast oil spill dispersion, which KM claimed in the report was a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved method, was a draft EPA publication which had failed at peer review.  KM had emoved the word "draft" from its submission. This is tantamount to fraud.

We must not allow the NEB process to be a paper exercise.  We need to be in the room with the right to cross-examine Kinder Morgan.


Elizabeth May, O.C.
Member of Parliament
Saanich-Gulf Islands 

Leader
Green Party of Canada

Letter to the Editor: Give Capital Region a Say on Pipeline: August 28, 2014

Elizabeth May to Donate Blood in Support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Green Party of Canada News - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 13:00

OTTAWA – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands, issued the following statement in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month:

“Today, there are more than 10,000 children in Canada living with cancer and more than 1,500 new cases are diagnosed annually."

"In support of the GoldRibbon Campaign blood drive, I will donate blood this Tuesday to honour survivors of childhood cancer, to remember children who lost their lives, and to raise awareness towards pediatric cancer research."

"Not long ago, a childhood cancer diagnosis was almost certainly a death sentence but thanks to advances in screening, diagnosis, and treatment, survival rates have increased by almost 50% since the 1960s."

"Canada is a world leader in cancer research, and each day brings us closer to a future where all children diagnosed with cancer can look forward to long and cancer-free lives.  We must continue to support the important work of medical research and to support children and youth who are battling cancer.”

-30- 

Contact: 

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Elizabeth May to Donate Blood in Support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Statement from the Green Party of Canada on Labour Day 2014

Green Party of Canada News - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 13:00

OTTAWA – On Labour Day, the Green Party of Canada reminds all Canadians of the achievements of the labour movement in this country and around the world, and the threats to workers’ rights that continue to this day.

“I want to wish all Canadians a safe and happy holiday weekend as we gather with friends and family to celebrate this last weekend of the summer,” stated Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich Gulf Islands.

“Labour Day is an opportunity to reflect on how much the labour movement has accomplished for all Canadians, from workplace safety standards to parental leave,” added Green Party Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. “This government’s ongoing hostility toward organized labour affects all of us, and it is our shared responsibility to ensure workers’ rights in this country are protected.”

“The Labour Movement has played an important role in creating a more just society for all Canadians," concluded Elizabeth May.

"The Harper Conservatives' heavy-handed back-to-work legislation, the disastrous Union Disclosure Bill, and the out-of-control expansion of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program have made it abundantly clear why we still need a strong labour movement in Canada. That’s why, as Leader of the Green Party, I will work with labour and business to put in place policies that lead to good jobs and a more resilient economy for the benefit of all Canadians.”

 

-30-

 

Contact: 

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Happy Labour Day from the Green Party of Canada --

Greens support call for inquiry into crisis of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls

Green Party of Canada News - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 17:13

OTTAWA – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands, supports the call from Canada’s premiers and Aboriginal leaders for a national inquiry into Canada's crisis of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.  

“The violence faced by Aboriginal women and girls in this country is our shared national disgrace,” said May. “It is not enough to simply say, as Prime Minister Harper has, that Tina Fontaine’s murder was a crime – We must confront the racism, poverty and legacies of colonialism leading up to it. That is why our party has been calling for an inquiry since October 2013. I applaud Canada’s Premiers and Aboriginal leaders for demanding an inquiry so that our country can at last move forward in resolving this crisis.” 

This week, provincial and territorial premiers, along with the leaders of the five national Aboriginal organizations, are meeting in Charlottetown for the 55th annual Council of the Federation Premiers Conference. The Premiers, along with the five national Aboriginal leaders are expected to issue a statement calling on the federal government to begin a public inquiry into the disproportionately high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.

"An inquiry is long overdue,” said Green Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. “We can't keep ignoring the connections between these acts of violence committed against Aboriginal women and girls. We owe it to the victims and their families to use every tool we have to investigate this serious problem and solve it, before even more women are put at risk. The government must act now and open an inquiry." 

“All Canadians must concern themselves with the alarmingly high rates of violence against girls and women – This country needs to be a safe place for all of our daughters,” said Green Party Aboriginal Affairs Critic Lorraine Rekmans. “The murder and disappearance of women is unacceptable in any country. We need an inquiry and an accounting of all agencies that are supposed to be protecting us.”  

An RCMP report issued earlier this year states that there have been 1,181 police-recorded incidents of aboriginal homicides and unresolved missing women investigations over the past 30 years, and aboriginal women are more than seven times as likely as non-aboriginal women to be victims of homicide.

-30-

Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Greens supports call for #inquiry into crisis of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls #MMIW

Premiers add their voices to Green Party’s call for a national energy strategy

Green Party of Canada News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 18:20

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada today applauds Premiers Kathleen Wynne of Ontario and Phillipe Couillard of Quebec for joining their call for a national energy strategy.

All of the provincial and territorial premiers, along with the leaders of the five national Aboriginal organizations, are in Charlottetown for the 55th annual Council of the Federation Premiers Conference, and discussion of a national energy strategy is on the agenda.

“Shipping unprocessed oil sands bitumen to foreign refineries is the very opposite of strategic – In fact, it is an economic and an environmental disaster in the making,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands. “Our party has long advocated for a national energy strategy for taking on the twin challenges of energy security and climate change, and I applaud the Premiers for recognizing that this needs to be a priority for Canada.”

 “My vision is of a national energy strategy that takes an innovative approach to resource extraction,” said Green Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. “It’s realistic, but serious about tackling climate change. It must include a price on carbon, and the best way to do that is by implementing Carbon Fee and Dividend, which would see every penny returned directly to Canadian citizens.”

Added Hyer: “A national energy strategy is key to ensuring that our non-renewable sources are used sustainably, while at the same time taking climate disruption seriously and shifting us toward renewable sources.”

In addition to implementing a Carbon Fee and Dividend program, the Green Party of Canada supports the creation of a Strategic Petroleum Reserve and a moratorium on the transport of unprocessed bitumen within Canada.

-30-

 

Contact: 

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Premiers add their voices to Green Party’s call for a national #energy strategy #cdnpoli

Leaders of the Green Party of Nova Scotia and Canada Welcome Provincial Order to Reduce Emissions in Pictou County

Green Party of Canada News - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 14:01

OTTAWA – Brynn Nheiley, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Nova Scotia and Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, welcome the ministerial order issued yesterday by Nova Scotia Environment Minister Randy Delorey to reduce emissions from Pictou County’s Northern Pulp mill.

The legal order outlines the required actions to reduce air quality emissions in order to come into compliance under the Environment Act before May 30, 2015.

“The Green Party of Nova Scotia (GPNS) is focused on working with Nova Scotia communities and this government to find solutions that provide for both a healthy economy and a healthy place to live,” stated GPNS Deputy Leader Brynn Nheiley.  “We congratulate the provincial government for responding to the alarm raised by numerous groups in Pictou County.”

“However, we remain concerned about the almost exclusive focus on air pollution. The GPNS would like to draw attention to the contamination occurring in the waterways surrounding the mill. This contamination impacts health and has devastated the economic potential of the region for other industries such as fisheries.”

The order specifically requires Northern Pulp to:

  • Ensure an electrostatic precipitator is built, installed and commissioned on the recovery boiler by May 30, 2015, to bring the mill's air emissions into compliance;
     
  • Have stack test results submitted directly to the Department of Environment within 30 days of testing (compared to typical 90 days);
     
  • Submit a schedule for installing the new precipitator and provide weekly progress reports in writing;
     
  • Itemize actions to be taken during the September shutdown, and reporting on work done and recommendations made; and,
  • do a second set of stack tests on or before Oct. 31, and have results sent to the Department of Environment within 30 days of completing the tests.

“Thanks to the tireless work of local residents, business owners and activists in Pictou County, the Nova Scotia government is now taking action to protect the health and safety of the community,” added Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.

“Although we are not certain what enforcement mechanisms will be used to ensure that the mill complies with this order, I am hopeful that Northern Pulp will obey the ministerial order, or face real consequences for polluting the air and water of Pictou County.”

Mounting public pressure in recent months compelled the Nova Scotia government to take action after a recent test found that toxic particulate emissions from the mill’s precipitator were far above permitted levels.

This ministerial order requires Northern Pulp to have a new precipitator in place and operating by May 30, 2015, and introduces more stringent emissions testing and reporting requirements for the mill. 

To view a copy of the order, go to: http://www.novascotia.ca/nse/issues/northern-pulp-boat-harbour.asp


-30- 

 

Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Leaders of the Green Party of Nova Scotia and Canada Welcome Provincial Order to Reduce Emissions in Pictou County

Dumbing down of diplomacy

Green Party of Canada News - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 04:00

One can be forgiven for dismissing the appointment of Canada’s new ambassador to the Vatican as a matter of no consequence. But this posting in the midst of a hot summer of global conflict may have been the last straw for the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO). The organization, representing more than 1,500 current and retired diplomats, issued a statement denouncing a decision which went outside the ranks of the professional foreign service to find Canada’s representative to the Holy See. More significantly, it identified this as part of a pattern in recent postings.

Dennis Savoie is described as a prominent member of the Knights of Columbus, a devout Roman Catholic and an anti-abortion activist. His career background was as an executive of New Brunswick Power and executive director of the New Brunswick Society of Nursing Homes. According to the Ottawa Citizen (August 6, 2014, ‘Diplomat union deplores ambassadorial appointment trend’) ‘he once reportedly compared abortion to the deaths in the 9/11 terrorism attacks.’

While saying that the organization will reserve judgment on Mr Savoie’s suitability for the posting, PAFSO president Tim Hodges said that the organization ‘deplores the government’s decision to, once again, nominate a non-diplomat to one of Canada’s ambassadorial positions.’

Canada’s role in the world has been fortified by our Trade Commissioner Service (established in 1894) and the Foreign Service (established in 1926). Together they have facilitated the implementation of domestic policies which could only be achieved through global engagement. Political appointments were not unknown before Stephen Harper. Some previous governments sold off residences and embassies.

Nevertheless, Stephen Harper has shown more disrespect for Canada’s foreign service than any previous prime minister. Naming his most combative front bench pit-bull, John Baird, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, suggests a certain non-diplomatic attitude to the role.

Since Stephen Harper became prime minister, official residences of Canadian diplomats around the world have been sold to help get out of deficit, without any analysis of what it will cost us long-term to lose the places where Canada has historically garnered information, built relationships and exercised diplomacy.

We have also closed and sold off embassies. The trend is particularly noticeable in Africa. Since 2006, Canada has shut down our diplomatic presence in Gabon, Niger, Malawi and the Consulate General in Cape Town, South Africa. Where we once had embassies covering 45% of African nations, we are now only present in 37%. Brazil has more African embassies than Canada.

It is a nightmare for my constituents. The absence of a Canadian immigration office in Nigeria pushes all files to the over-worked, under-resourced embassy in Accra, Ghana. (Any time we have requests that involve the Accra embassy, my whole constituency staff feels heartsick, knowing that office seems incapable of not losing files—over and over again.) The Canadian High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya covers Burundi, Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan, while in Latin America, Canada’s Costa Rican embassy covers Honduras and Nicaragua (although, we have opened seven new offices in Mexico.) Meanwhile, in some countries, we are essentially couch-surfing, working out of UK embassies.

All of this is consistent with the trend towards non-foreign service ambassadors. One of the most shocking was the appointment in 2013 of Harper’s bodyguard as Canada’s Ambassador to Jordan. Bruno Saccomani, career RCMP officer, had been the boss of the 117 officers in charge of Stephen Harper and his family’s personal security. Saccomani was controversial before the appointment due to repeated reports of bullying and sexism towards the officers who reported to him.

Then there’s the January 2014 appointment of Vivian Bercovici as Canada’s Ambassador to Israel. Bercovici, formerly a Toronto lawyer and sometime columnist, has no foreign service background. Even the Times of Israel reported that her tweets ‘could even be argued that they cross over—or at least skirt—the line between diplomacy and advocacy.’

Canada’s former ambassador to Israel, Michael Bell, was less nuanced in his criticism: ‘Strong criticism of Hamas and Hezbollah is warranted, given their penchant for murder, destruction and intimidation. We should have no truck with those within these organizations who dedicate themselves to violence. But to dismiss the Palestinian Authority and the PLO in the same breath, as she has done, stretches reality to the breaking point…. Ms Bercovici will have her hands full, and much to learn, if she wants to move beyond the simplicity of demonization.’ (Globe and Mail, January 13, 2014, ‘Canada’s new Israel ambassador needs to move beyond simplistic demonization’)

Michael Bell may have been disingenuous. Surely he knows what Stephen Harper wants is the simplicity of demonization.

The appointments of a beer executive as counsel general to Los Angeles, Gordon Campbell as High Commissioner to the UK, Gary Doer as Ambassador to the US are all canny, if inadequate, representatives of Canada—par for the course. The muzzling of diplomats, their inability to speak at universities in the countries where they are posted, is only to be expected.

As one of my friends, a retired diplomat, once quipped when John Baird ordered diplomats to ‘beef-up’ in fitness classes, ‘it is the refuge of the bully to tell the nerds to do push-ups’.

Originally printed in the Island Tides Regional Newspaper.

Dumbing down of diplomacy

Leaders of the Green Party of Nova Scotia and Canada issue Joint Statement on the Northern Pulp Mill in Pictou County, Nova Scotia

Green Party of Canada News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:42

“We must work together with our Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents as we look for a long-term solution.” Nova Scotia Green Party Deputy Leader, Brynn Nheiley

“The argument that you have to choose between your health and a job is ridiculous…” Green Party of Canada Leader, Elizabeth May

(Ottawa) August 20th, 2014 – Nova Scotia Green Party Deputy Leader, Brynn Nheiley called on the Nova Scotia government to ensure compliance with all air quality and water quality standards at the Northern Pulp Mill in Pictou County and to take immediate steps to ensure the health and safety of residents living nearby. Federal Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May also called on the Federal Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose to conduct an independent epidemiological health study of the rates of cancer and other diseases in Pictou County.

“We are learning more and more that the health risks posed by the Northern Pulp mill are unacceptable,” stated Nova Scotia Green Party Deputy Leader, Brynn Nheiley. “This mill continues to operate under such conditions at the expense of all other industries and businesses in the region.  Immediate steps must be taken to bring this mill into compliance of established health and environmental regulations.”

“In collaboration with the Green Party of Canada, we call on this provincial government to enforce these regulations, designed to protect the health of its citizens, or impose significant penalties.”

“The notion that any community across Nova Scotia must choose between their jobs or their health and the health of their loved ones is false. We must work together with our Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents as we look for a long-term solution.”

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, supported the Nova Scotia Green Party’s call to ensure that the Northern mill be brought into compliance with existing environmental regulations, adding, “I am concerned about the ever-increasing health risks posed to those living near the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County. Statements made by mill representatives, I believe, are designed to delay the need for action. This is unacceptable.”

“The argument that you have to choose between your health and a job is ridiculous. We know that other mills in Canada have successfully complied with environmental standards and are now economically viable operations.”

“We are working closely with the Nova Scotia Provincial Green Party and will assist in any way we can to help find a solution for the residents of Pictou County.”

For further information or to arrange interviews, contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications | Directeur des communications
t: 613.562.4916 (224) toll free | sans frais 1.866.868.3447
Green Party of Canada | Parti vert du Canada

 

Leaders of the Green Party of Nova Scotia and Canada issue Joint Statement on the Northern Pulp Mill in Pictou County, Nova Scotia

ELIZABETH MAY REACTS TO TRANSPORT CANADA’S FINAL REPORT ON LAC-MEGANTIC

Green Party of Canada News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 19:43

"I call for a public inquiry to satisfy Canadians that everything is being done to protect them…” Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May.

(OTTAWA) - Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada issued the following statement regarding the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada release of its final report on the devastating train derailment in Lac-Megantic in 2013.  The tragic events lead to the loss of 47 lives and destroyed a significant portion of the downtown.  Over six million litres of crude oil were discharged into the area.

“I want to first begin by expressing my deepest sympathy to those who lost their loved ones to this terrible and senseless tragedy,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “My heart goes out to you as you look for a way to cope with this terrible loss.  While nothing can bring them back, I hope we can learn from this to ensure that it never happens again.”

Since 2011, the Green Party has called for a Royal Commission into Railway Safety. 

“With the release of the TSB final report, action must be immediately taken to minimize the risk posed to Canadians as transportation by rail of dangerous goods through our cities and towns continues to grow rapidly,” added Deputy Green party Leader Bruce Hyer.  “The fact that very little has been done to improve rail safety following this tragedy, speaks to this Conservative Government’s belief that government should not play a significant role in safety - if it affects the bottom line of private sector companies.” 

“I call for a public inquiry to satisfy Canadians that everything is being done to protect them,” concluded Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May. “The recommendations brought forward today by the TSB are a first step. However, despite improvements brought in by Transport Minister Lisa Raitt in removing some of the DOT 111 rail cars, much more needs to be done.  We need to bring in a system that can stop or slow a train before certain accidents occur, such as positive train control technology, which is currently being implemented in the U.S.  

“A full public inquiry is needed to demonstrate the weak safety culture that exists in Canada today at the expense of Canadians.”  

(See attached backgrounder on findings from the Report)

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

*****************************************

BACKGROUNDER:
Findings as to Causes and Contributing Factors:

MMA-002 was parked unattended on the main line, on a descending grade, with the securement of the train reliant on a locomotive that was not in proper operating condition.

· The 7 hand brakes that were applied to secure the train were insufficient to hold the train without the additional braking force provided by the locomotive’s independent brakes.

· No proper hand brake effectiveness test was conducted to confirm that there was sufficient retarding force to prevent movement, and no additional physical safety defences were in place to prevent the uncontrolled movement of the train.

· Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway did not provide effective training or oversight to ensure that crews understood and complied with rules governing train securement.

· Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s weak safety culture contributed to the continuation of unsafe conditions and unsafe practices, and compromised Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s ability to effectively manage safety.

· Despite being aware of significant operational changes at Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, Transport Canada did not provide adequate regulatory oversight to ensure the associated risks were addressed.

· Transport Canada Quebec Region did not follow up to ensure that recurring safety deficiencies at Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway were effectively analyzed and corrected, and consequently, unsafe practices persisted.

· The limited number and scope of safety management system audits that were conducted by Transport Canada Quebec Region, and the absence of a follow-up procedure to ensure Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s corrective action plans had been implemented, contributed to the systemic weaknesses in Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s safety management system remaining unaddressed.

Findings as to Risk:
· If there are no rules and regulations for single-person train operations, nor a requirement for Transport Canada to approve and monitor railways’ plans, then single-person trains may operate without all of the necessary defences in place.

· If systematic testing is not conducted on representative samples of petroleum crude oil at an appropriate frequency, there is an increased risk that these dangerous goods will be improperly classified.

· If not properly classified and documented, dangerous goods may be moved and handled incorrectly, increasing the risk of injury to people, and of damage to property and the environment.

· Without monitoring and effective enforcement of compliance with applicable classification provisions of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, there is a risk that improperly classified dangerous goods will enter the transportation system.

· If Class 111 tank cars that do not meet enhanced protection standards transport flammable liquids, there is an ongoing risk of product loss and significant damage to persons, property, and the environment when these cars are involved in accidents.

Other Findings:
· It could not be concluded whether single-person train operations contributed to the incorrect securement of the train or to the decision to leave the locomotive running at Nantes, Quebec, despite its abnormal condition.

· The petroleum crude oil being transported by the train was improperly classified; it was assigned packing group III (lowest hazard), despite meeting the criteria for packing group II.

ELIZABETH MAY REACTS TO TRANSPORT CANADA’S FINAL REPORT ON LAC-MEGANTIC

Green Party Voter Support holds Steady: Nanos Research Poll

Green Party of Canada News - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 14:40

(Ottawa) August 15, 2014 - In the latest poll released from Nanos Research, support for the Green Party of Canada continues to remain steady. The Nanos poll released on August 13, 2014 shows that 30% of Canadians would now consider voting for the Green Party.

 “I am very encouraged that 30% of Canadians are now considering voting for the Green Party of Canada,” stated Green Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.  “I am particularly satisfied that on average, over a twelve-month period, we have seen an increase in support and donations.”

The latest Nanos Party Power Index also shows that the Conservative Party has slid for fourth weeks in a row.  

The Nanos Party Power Index Tracking for Canada is based on the following public opinion measures: the national ballot, which party individuals would consider voting for, the top two choices for Prime Minister, and whether each party leader has good leadership qualities.  

“Canadians want to see MPs making decisions on behalf of their constituents in their riding, not on behalf of their party,” added Deputy Green Party Leader, Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. “I believe this is one of the reasons that voters are steadily turning to the Green Party because they know we are the only party that will put their interests first.”

Financial reports released by Elections Canada in August show that the Green Party raised $531,404 in the second quarter of 2014, representing a 67% increase over the same period in 2013.  Conversely, both the Liberals and Conservatives saw their revenues decline relative to the same period in 2013.

“Our fundraising success says to me that more and more Canadians in the next election will choose the Green Party’s politics of collaboration and cooperation instead of confrontation,” concluded Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May.


-30-

 

For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Green Party Voter Support holds Steady: Nanos Research Poll

August 9 is International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Green Party of Canada News - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 13:57

OTTAWA – On this the 21st annual UN International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, the Green Party of Canada joins with Greens from around the world in celebrating the diversity of Indigenous cultures and in calling for greater respect for Indigenous rights.

The theme for this year’s Indigenous Peoples Day is "Bridging the Gap: Implementing the Rights of Indigenous Peoples." 

“While we clearly have a long way to go on the road to reconciliation, this has definitely been a landmark year for the affirmation of the legal rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.

Following more than 30 years of legal challenges, a groundbreaking Supreme Court of Canada decision on June 26th finally recognized the Tsilhqot’in First Nation’s legal title to more than 1,700 square kilometers of land in interior British Columbia.

The Court’s unanimous decision confirmed earlier case law and once again makes it clear that on land where First Nations have title, resource development cannot proceed without their consent. The decision has far-reaching implications for future resource development across Canada, and clarifies the nature of First Nations title. That title is “Collective” and “Intergenerational.”

Added May: “The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent ruling in favour of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation was a critical step in the right direction, and a victory for First Nations communities across this country. Now, all Canadians must move forward to even greater recognition and implementation of the legal rights of Indigenous peoples.”

-30-

 

Contact: 

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

August 9 is International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples #IndigenousDay

Nanos Research Poll says 31% of Canadians are considering voting Green

Green Party of Canada News - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 18:50

OTTAWA – With the strongest second quarter fundraising growth of any federal political party and a new poll from Nanos Research indicating that 31% of Canadians would consider voting for the Greens, Party Leader Elizabeth May said today that the Green Party is poised to make significant gains in the coming election.

“The fact that more Canadians, over 31%, are now considering voting for the Green Party of Canada may be one reason that we have seen such a large increase in donations,” stated Green Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.

When potential voters were asked in the latest Nanos Poll whether they would consider or not consider voting for each of the federal political parties, 31 percent said that would consider voting for the Green Party.

Financial reports released by Elections Canada this past weekend show that the Green Party raised $531,404 in the second quarter of 2014, representing a 67% increase over the same period in 2013.  Conversely, both the Liberals and Conservatives saw their revenues decline relative to the same period in 2013.  

The party also saw significant growth in the number of donors contributing, with 7,546 donating to the party in second quarter of 2014 – an increase of 66% over the same period in 2013. 

“I believe this significant increase in donations, along with the increasing number of Canadians who are considering voting for the Green Party of Canada is a result of the growing frustration from voters who feel their MPs are no longer listening to them,” added Deputy Green Party Leader, Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. “Canadians are ready for change, and they will make that clear by voting Green in the next election.”

“The strength of our fundraising is another indicator that more and more Canadians are turning to the Green Party as a meaningful alternative to the other federal parties,” concluded Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May. “These quarterly results, coupled with the latest polling data show that our message is resonating with grassroots supporters, and that we are building momentum heading into 2015.” 

2014 fundraising numbers follow a very strong 2013 fundraising year, in which the Green Party of Canada saw revenue growth of 30%, and donor base growth of 52% compared to 2012. 

-30-

Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca 

New poll from @niknanos says 31% of Canadians are considering voting Green

Olympic Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed to run for Greens in West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country

Green Party of Canada News - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 18:29

OTTAWA ­– Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands, is pleased to announce that Ken Melamed, former Mayor of Whistler, BC, has won the party nomination in West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country. Melamed has also been named the Green Party’s new Shadow Cabinet Critic for Finance.

An environmentalist, sustainability speaker and local small business owner, Melamed served on Whistler Municipal Council from 1996 to 2005, and as Mayor from 2005-2011. During his second term as Mayor, Melamed oversaw the community’s preparations for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Melamed also championed Whistler's Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, and First Nations Legacy Land Agreement. 

“With his strong leadership background and profound personal commitment to Green values, I know Ken will be a great representative for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country,” said Ms. May. “I am also tremendously pleased that he will be joining our Shadow Cabinet team.”

“The Green Party shares my belief that an economy based on short-term exploitation of our natural resources cannot provide long-term prosperity,” said Melamed. “I look forward to working with other Green MPs to build a truly resilient economy that benefits all of us.”

May also extended thanks to Michael Maser for his spirited campaign in the West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country Green Party nomination contest.

"There's no question that Michael ran a great campaign, and I am so grateful for all his hard work and dedication," said Ms. May. "I know he will continue be an integral part of our team as we work to send more Greens to Ottawa in 2015."

-30-

Contact:

Julian Morelli
Communications Coordinator
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Olympic Mayor @KenMelamed to run for Greens in West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country

Why I am marching

Green Party of Canada News - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 00:32

This article was primarily written for an international audience, but I thought Canadian Greens might want to join me too!

On Sunday September 21 I will be with my daughter in New York, marching with tens of thousands of concerned citizens – demanding action on the climate crisis. The march is timed to build pressure on world leaders and in support of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Solutions Summit on September 23.

In December 2013, I was in Warsaw at the 19th Conference of the Parties within the world’s legally binding climate treaty, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change when the Secretary General announced the summit. He wants to push governments to make real progress.

Negotiations for meaningful climate action – held every year since the early 1990s – are moving at a snail’s pace. One step forward, two-steps back. The so-called global “leaders,” the rich countries of the world, hope lip service will be enough to satisfy their citizens. The real laggards, such as the prime minister of my country, hope that action can be delayed to protect fossil fuel profits. Ban Ki-moon, knowing the deadline for the next treaty is only a bit more than a year away (December 2015 at COP21) called on leaders to come to the United Nations headquarters in New York this September to share solutions. He was clear in Warsaw. On current levels of effort, we will fail our children. We will miss all targets and run the risk of ever-accelerating, catastrophic global warming. We need real leadership. We need countries to step up.

Ever since the disastrous world gathering in 2009 in Copenhagen, I have felt as though the international climate movement has been in a state of post-traumatic stress disorder. The dashing of hopes. The cop-outs and sell-outs from around the world turned the climate movement back inward: Forget “global.” Let’s work at local levels for change.

But we cannot afford to forget the global. We must exert every effort to achieve the kind of meaningful treaty that protected the ozone layer (the 1987 Montreal Protocol). We need to re-engage.

People ask why as a federal member of the Canadian Parliament I feel I need to march. I attend the United Nations COP every year (the only MP to do so other than the Minister of Environment representing the Canadian government’s drive to sabotage climate action). I am leader of a federal political party – the Green Party. And I have a seat in the House of Commons on behalf of my constituents in Saanich-Gulf Islands, British Columbia.

I have a strong voice. I have other venues and actions I can take….so why march?

The world media will not take note, the governments of the world will not take note, other politicians will not take note of the climate crisis as long as they can find other issues and distractions. We must have a massive public mobilization that demands that governments everywhere plan and begin the transition off fossil fuels.

So why march?

Nothing wakes up a society like a public movement. Marches led by the Rev. Martin Luther King ended segregation. Marches led to the end of the War in Vietnam. Taking to the streets won women the vote and mobilized the pressure that led to Nelson Mandela being released from a South African prison and for the fall of the Berlin Wall. None of those things were viewed as possible – until they happened.

So my daughter and I will get on the train from Montreal to Manhattan. We will march in a mass of humanity, the human river of protest that has made its way for so many causes through the canyons of New York skyscrapers demanding change.

I will march because in the end, it’s not the politicians that make the change the world needs. As Gus Speth once said, “Politicians ride the waves. People’s movements make the waves.”

Come to New York. March for climate sanity. We need you.


Why I am marching

Greens' Q2 fundraising gains the largest of any federal party

Green Party of Canada News - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 22:14

Financial reports released by Elections Canada over the weekend show that the Green Party has the strongest fundraising growth of any Canadian political party.

The GPC raised $531,404 in the second quarter of 2014, representing a 67% increase over the same period in 2013. 

The party also saw significant growth in the number of donors contributing, with 7,546 donating to the party in second quarter of 2014 – an increase of 66% over the same period in 2013. 

The Green Party's robust fundraising gains come at the same time as both the Liberals and Conservatives saw their revenues decline relative to the second quarter of 2013.

“The strength of our fundraising is just another indicator that more and more Canadians are turning to the Green Party as a meaningful alternative to the other federal parties,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “These quarterly results show that our message is resonating with grassroots supporters, and that we are building momentum heading into the coming election.” 

The 2014 fundraising numbers follow a very strong 2013 fundraising year, in which the Green Party of Canada saw revenue growth of 30%, and donor base growth of 52% compared to 2012. 

-30- 

Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca 

Greens' Q2 fundraising gains the largest of any federal party

Mount Polley Mine disaster should be a wake-up call

Green Party of Canada News - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 21:01

OTTAWA – Following the catastrophic tailings pond spill that took place Monday at the Imperial Metals Mount Polley Copper Mine, the Green Party of Canada is calling for far more stringent safety requirements and a comprehensive review of tailings ponds across Canada.

"The disaster at Imperial is a stark reminder that inspections and enforcement procedures must be strengthened,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.

“It is not good enough to know that Imperial was warned – A watchdog cannot be toothless. There are literally tens of thousands of square kilometres of tailings ponds across Canada – They require regular maintenance and inspections, and an adaptation plan to deal with the increased risk of deluge rain events due to climate change" 

An estimated 10 billion litres of highly toxic wastewater and 4.5 million cubic metres of contaminated sand were released into Polley Lake in the BC interior following a tailings pond breach at the nearby Imperial Metals Mount Polley Copper Mine. The breach has been described as the single largest environmental disaster in BC history.

“Mercifully, this was a relatively dry summer in the North Cariboo region – if water levels had been higher, this disaster could have been much worse,” added May. “As extreme weather events become the new normal, we must either ensure that Canada’s tailings ponds are prepared for higher levels of rainfall, or face the devastating consequences of inaction.”

-30- 

Contact: 

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Mount Polley Mine disaster should be a wake-up call #mining #mtpolley

August 6th is Hiroshima Day

Green Party of Canada News - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 16:03

OTTAWA – On this the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, the Green Party of Canada joins Green parties worldwide in calling for global nuclear disarmament. 

On this day in 1945, more than 100,000 civilians were instantly killed by the atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima. On August 9, 1945, a further 60,000 people were killed in the bombing of Nagasaki. Tens of thousands more died later from exposure to the radiation. 

“Each year on Hiroshima Day, we reflect on the unimaginable dangers of nuclear weapons, and we reaffirm our commitment to making nuclear disarmament a reality,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.

-30- 

Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
Julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

August 6th is Hiroshima Day

Statement from Paul Estrin, President of the Green Party of Canada

Green Party of Canada News - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 00:14

Today Paul Estrin issued the following statement regarding his resignation as President of the Green Party of Canada:
 

I am proud of all the successes and achievements made during my term as President of the Green Party of Canada.

I never intended to create confusion or have any of my actions negatively impact the Party. 

Therefore, I tender my resignation, effective immediately.

Sincerely,


Paul Estrin


Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications,
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
Julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Statement from Paul Estrin, President of the Green Party of Canada

Greens support medical treatment in Canada for 100 wounded Gazan children

Green Party of Canada News - Tue, 08/05/2014 - 17:05

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada supports the humanitarian campaign led by Palestinian-Canadian Dr. Izzeldin Abeylaish to bring 100 seriously wounded Gaza children to Canada for medical treatment. 

“Dr. Abeylaish has demonstrated tremendous leadership. Can our elected leaders match it? This mission to save innocent children is both humbling and inspirational. I urge the federal government to support this most urgent campaign,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich­–Gulf Islands.

“Hatred strips us of our dignity and humanity, both for those who wield it and those afflicted by its wrath,” said Green Party of Canada Peace and Security Critic Ronnie Smith. “These children have names, faces, and families, just like you and I do. Canada is well situated to provide such humanitarian aid, but this government has painted us into a diplomatic corner in terms of the Israel Palestine conflict.” 

 

-30- 

Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
Julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

 

Greens support medical treatment in Canada for 100 wounded Gazan children #Heal100kids #Gaza

Pages