Archive | Canadian Media Resource Articles

Supreme Court dismisses B.C. case against Trans Mountain pipeline – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – January 17, 2020)

Outcome resolves one of the last court challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project

CALGARY – The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously rejected British Columbia’s move to regulate the flow of heavy oil across its borders, resolving one of the last court challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

After all-day hearings Thursday, Supreme Court justices dismissed B.C.’s appeal of a lower court decision, which found that interprovincial trade is federal jurisdiction and the flow of commodities such as heavy oil and bitumen should be overseen by federal regulators.

“We are all of the view to dismiss the appeal for the unanimous reasons of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia,” Chief Justice of Canada Richard Wagner said from the bench after dozens of lawyers from across the country presented arguments. Continue Reading →

Go underground with these 7 exciting Canadian mine tours – by Mark Stachiew ( – January 17, 2020)

Canada’s economy has long been reliant on its wealth of natural resources. While the country is today home to a growing number of high-tech and modern industries, natural resources like lumber, oil and gold remain a mainstay and the harvesting of those resources remains woven into the fabric of the nation..

Visitors can bear witness to that history and the human stories behind it by touring one of the country’s many mines that have been transformed into destinations that not only tell the stories of the places and the people who worked there, but also teach visitors about the minerals and ores that were extracted there and their importance both locally and nationally. Here are seven examples for you to check out, several of which are Canadian Signature Experiences.

Bell Island #2 Mine and Community Museum 13 Compressor Hill (Bell Island, Newfoundland

Newfoundland’s Bell Island mine was an underground iron ore mine that was vital to the island’s economy and provided crucial material for the Allied war effort during both World Wars. Continue Reading →

Mark Carney ‘absolutely’ opposes oil divestment – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – January 15, 2020)

One of Fink’s sentences is worth repeating: “The technology does not
yet exist to cost-effectively replace many of today’s essential uses
of hydrocarbons.” It may be even more complicated than lack of
technology. Some scientists say the physics and essential properties
of energy production make any known fossil fuel substitutes — such
as wind and solar — unrealistic alternatives.

I have some welcome news for Canada’s fossil fuel industry. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, soon to be the UN envoy on climate finance, will not be joining the fossil fuel divestment movement. “I absolutely disagree with divestment campaigns,” Carney said in an email to an FP Comment column reader in Calgary.

Carney’s categorical rejection of divestment clarifies what has appeared to some as the central banker’s ambiguous position on the global campaign to get investment firms, pension funds and other financial institutions to remove carbon-emitting energy corporations from their portfolios.

Many in Canada’s energy sector have expressed concerns about Carney’s views, which will play a key role in policy circles when he returns to Canada this year to take up his new UN role. Continue Reading →

Pickering’s false alarm has raised false fears about nuclear power. The fallout from global warming is the bigger threat – by Martin Regg Cohn (Toronto Star – January 16, 2020)

There’s every reason to find out why an emergency alert wrongly went out early Sunday over the Pickering nuclear plant. But a great deal of the alarmist rhetoric over that false alarm simply rings false.

Yes, the screw-up surely rattled many in the eastern GTA. Fear, followed by anger, was to be expected from families wondering if they had enough protective potassium iodide tablets on hand — even if the erroneous alert stressed no abnormal release of radioactivity in the unspecified “incident” that never was.

The reaction from residents was understandable. More predictable, perhaps, was the response from anti-nuclear critics who warned anyone awakened by Sunday morning’s alerts that it was a wake-up call of a higher order. Continue Reading →

Will B.C.’s new UNDRIP law block the province’s natural gas megaproject? Good question – Editorial (Globe and Mail – January 16, 2020)

In the Canadian Venn diagram of Indigenous reconciliation, resource development and climate change, British Columbia’s Coastal GasLink pipeline lands smack in the hot centre of three political issues.

After a long period of debate and negotiation, major construction on the pipeline is set to begin this summer. There may, however, be one final roadblock: The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

B.C. last year became the first province to enshrine UNDRIP into law. At the federal level, the Trudeau government plans to do the same. That is even though it remains unclear exactly what UNDRIP means, and how it may change Canadian law. The document pledges governments to secure the “free, prior and informed consent” of Indigenous people in a number of situations, including before giving the green light to resource projects. Continue Reading →

M&As in the copper space could surge in 2020, especially if Chinese companies come to the party – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – January 15, 2020)

As the U.S. and China prepare to sign the first phase of a trade deal, copper prices are on the rise, hitting an eight-month high at US$2.83 per pound on Tuesday. Yet, many analysts are taking a circumspect view of the impact that a U.S.-China trade deal will have on copper.

“I think there’s certainly near-term impact, but I’m not sure it really is going to resolve core issues between the two countries,” said Pierre Vaillancourt, a senior analyst at Haywood Securities.

Still, he added, “We see positive supply and demand trends regardless of where trade is.” It ties into a growing if cautious optimism for the copper sector after a lacklustre year in which prices fell five per cent — averaging US$2.82 per pound in the first quarter of 2019 and US$2.67 per pound in the fourth quarter. RBC Capital Markets analysts last week predicted that M&A in the copper space could surge in 2020, especially if Chinese companies remain hungry. Continue Reading →

OPINION: BlackRock’s green investing strategy is not a moral awakening – by Ian McGugan (Globe and Mail – January 15, 2020)

Larry Fink, arguably the world’s most powerful investor, has just delivered his annual letter to chief executives. This year, the chairman of giant money manager BlackRock Inc. used his institutional pulpit to thunder about the mounting dangers of climate change and preach the virtues of sustainable investing.

It is all good, praiseworthy stuff from a company with nearly US$7-trillion in assets under management. Just don’t assume it means a major shift in policy.

Take, for example, Mr. Fink’s announcement that BlackRock’s actively managed funds are in the process of dumping bonds or stocks issued by companies that generate more than 25 per cent of their revenue from thermal coal production. Continue Reading →

We have good reasons to be alarmed about nuclear reactors – by Rosie DiManno (Toronto Star – January 15, 2020)

Let me tell you about nuclear reactors and me. Because suddenly, on Sunday, a nuclear calamity was on everybody’s mind, GTA residents jolted into a queasy awareness of the aging Pickering facility when emergency officials “accidentally” issued a false alarm during testing of the alert system.

A vast complex hunkered down on the shore of Lake Ontario which, we learned just a day later — lousy timing — the Doug Ford government now intends to extend the life of the facility beyond its planned 2024 shuttering. One of the largest nuclear power stations in the world — with six active CANDU reactors — and one of the oldest. Should have been taken offline years ago, as environmentalists urged.

It does not engender much faith in the competence of the nuclear station’s management when they botch a simple communications exercise. Two hours passed before they reversed the erroneous warning. What if it had been a real emergency? Is it seriously possible that Ontario Power Generation is still relying on Amber Alert-type notification for the public’s protection? Continue Reading →

The Sunday alert’s real lesson — Canada’s nuclear reactors are safe – by Jonathan Kay (National Post – January 15, 2020)

A strange, short-lived mini-panic afflicted Ontario on Sunday. And to the extent anyone was genuinely scared, some of the blame likely goes to The Simpsons.

“An incident was reported at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station,” read an emergency alert broadcast to millions of cellphones at 7:23 a.m. “There has been NO abnormal release of radioactivity … People near the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station DO NOT need to take any protective actions.”

Perhaps it says something about how my mind has been infected by cynical cultural tropes, but by the time I’d gotten to the end of the brief public message, I was channelling the false assurances offered to Simpsons-land TV viewers by Montgomery Burns about an imminent apocalypse at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant: “Oh, ‘meltdown.’ It’s one of these annoying buzzwords. We prefer to call it an unrequested fission surplus.” Continue Reading →



IT GETS COLD at the Lakehead. But it’s an almost joyous kind of cold, for it brings the snow-mobiles whizzing out of people’s backyards and down the snow-clogged streets, as thick as bicycles in Amsterdam. Besides, four of the best ski slopes in Ontario are within 20 minutes of downtown, and every discount store stocks snowshoes. Winter is a matter of perception. You can either curse it, escape it or try to ignore it. At the Lakehead, people try to enjoy it.

This may be part of the reason why Port Arthur’s Mayor Saul Laskin is sold on the feasibility of the mid-Canada development corridor. The idea stands or falls, after all, on the proposition that people can live comfortably in mid-Canada. Laskin and 110,000 other Lakehead residents have been doing it for years.

This may come as news to southern Canada. The national media seem to have evolved a silent conspiracy to ensure that the fact of northwestern Ontario’s existence doesn’t leak to the outside world. There is probably no area of Canada more justifiably conscious of being ignored. During Centennial year, when the Canadian Government Travel Bureau distributed a “Come to Canada” brochure through the U.S., they included Kapuskasing and Moosonee on the map, but failed to mention Port Arthur. When MP Robert Andras last year suggested carving an 11th province out of northern Ontario and northern Quebec, no one in his riding saw fit to hoot him down; by now they’re used to Going It Alone in northwestern Ontario. Continue Reading →

Half a century ago, locals celebrated — and grumbled about — the birth of Thunder Bay – by Jaie Bradburn (TV Ontario – January 10, 2020)

In 1970, two cities and two townships merged, creating Ontario’s sixth-largest city. But not everyone welcomed the arrival of the brand-new municipality

At midnight on January 1, 1970, a ceremony was held at the arch that had, until that moment, marked the boundary between the cities of Port Arthur and Fort William. Previously known as the Welcome Arch, it would henceforth be called the Unity Arch, marking a symbolic end to the long rivalry that had, as the Globe and Mail observed, seen the two communities “fighting over land, new businesses, railway lines, and sometimes just for the hell of it.”

As church bells rang and fireworks went off, a sign on the arch flashed “Happy Birthday Thunder Bay.” With that, Ontario’s newest city was born. But, amid the celebrations, there was a great deal of grumbling over how the amalgamation process in the Lakehead area had unfolded.

Beginning in the Victorian era, the twin cities on Lake Superior had developed a deep rivalry that frequently prevented any form of co-operation. Each had its own transit system: passengers had to get off at the boundary and pay another fare before crossing into the other city. Taxis from one city couldn’t seek fares in the other. Continue Reading →

Where will new Indigenous rights lead? – by James Baillie (Financial Post – January 14, 2020)

Opinion: We should strive for an emboldened Indigenous people, freed from the adverse consequences of their mistreatment and able to make their way as equal citizens

Terence Corcoran’s article on Jan. 8 about Canadian adoption of UNDRIP (the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) came as a breath of fresh air in an atmosphere thick with praise for UNDRIP’s espousal of a vast expansion of the legal rights of Indigenous peoples. Even so, it underestimates the likely impact of UNDRIP, especially in the context of a more general expansion of Indigenous rights.

The need for aggressive action to remedy historic wrongs to Indigenous people is well-recognized. Health care, housing, education, child welfare, adequate law enforcement — all these and still other aspects of life require urgent attention. Fortunately, in recent years remedial actions have been initiated. They should continue, urgently.

UNDRIP evolved in the United Nations as one initiative to strengthen the position of Indigenous people. It is a wide-ranging document, clearly intended to provide bulwarks protecting all aspects of Indigenous society. Continue Reading →

Billionaire Frank Giustra slams fake news on hiding Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, says it’s all about Clinton hate not the Royals – Kitco News exclusive – by Daniela Cambone (Kitco News – January 13, 2020)

(Kitco News) – Canadian mining mogul and philanthropist Frank Giustra refuses to remain silent and is fighting back at right-wing media which reported he is providing a luxe hideout for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in his home in British Columbia.

Over the weekend, the popular gossip site Page Six of the New York Post reported that Harry and Meghan were staying at a multi-million dollar waterfront mansion near Victoria, British Columbia – the place they plotted their “shock exit” from the royal family.

The media outlet tied the mansion to Giustra – an uber successful mining mogul and the founder of film studio Lionsgate which produced hits including American Psycho and Fahrenheit 9/11. The news story was later picked up by Fox News, the Daily Mail and The Sun and has gone viral on various social media outlets. Continue Reading →

This Canadian won millions in a legal fight with Kazakhstan. Was it worth it? – by Nick Taylor-Vaisey (MACLEAN’S Magazine – January 14, 2020)

A Canadian mining exec’s decades-long tussle with Kazakhstan is finally over—he hopes. But even though he won, Paul Carroll doesn’t see much to celebrate.

The town of Stepnogorsk, a remote speck of civilization in the northern steppe of Kazakhstan, is straight out of a Cold War thriller. For decades, it was a secret—nowhere to be found on a map. It was a company town, and its business was, in part, producing weaponized anthrax.

After the Soviet Union dissolved, Stepnogorsk moved away from biological warfare, turning to exploiting vast uranium deposits in the region. But its residents soon found themselves at the centre of a dispute between their national government and a Canadian company that had set up shop there. Continue Reading →

Endeavour Mining ends pursuit of Centamin after takeover talks fall through – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 14, 2020)

Canada-listed Endeavour Mining Corp. has dropped its pursuit of Centamin PLC after the two miners failed to reach agreement on terms of a takeover deal.

In December, London-based Endeavour tabled an informal all-stock proposal worth $2.5-billion that would have seen it pay a 13 per cent premium for Centamin. Endeavour, which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, operates four mines in West Africa. Jersey-based Centamin operates a single gold mine in Egypt.

Endeavour had argued that Centamin would benefit from being part of a larger, and better diversified miner, and that the combined company would be more appealing to investors. Continue Reading →