Archive | Canadian Media Resource Articles

Are foreign interests fomenting Indigenous dissent about Canada’s resource development? – by Diane Francis (Financial Post – February 25, 2020)

Climate change radicalism aimed at shutting down Canada’s resource base is behind the current blockade crisis, says Indigenous leader

Climate change radicalism aimed at shutting down Canada’s resource base is behind the current blockade crisis and is destroying efforts to improve the lives of most Aboriginal people, according to Ellis Ross, a prominent Indigenous leader and a Liberal MLA in British Columbia, in a powerful online interview with Resource Works News.

He is a former chief councillor for the Haisla Nation and has been at the forefront of issues concerning resource development and Aboriginal rights in his province.

“There is a well co-ordinated, well-funded machine shutting down Canada,” he said. “The agenda is basically anti-fossil fuel, but also forestry and mining. This machine has set back Aboriginal reconciliation by 20 years.” Continue Reading →

Canada’s future is going down the drain amid destructive federal-provincial feud – by John Ivison (National Post – February 24, 2020)

“Provincial and federal governments have their differences but if
their focus remains on one another, there will soon be no oilpatch
to phase out – and no money to pay for poverty-reduction. Much more
of this and Venezuela is going to look like an attractive investment alternative.”

As Canada goes down the drain, its political leaders are arguing about the size of the plug-hole.

The Alberta Court of Appeal decision, which rules that the federal carbon tax is unconstitutional and erodes provincial jurisdiction, is merely the latest blow to Canada’s brand as a safe and reliable investment haven.

Why would any sentient investor put money into energy projects in a country where environmental policy is so erratic? Justin Trudeau’s political opponents were quick to exploit the decision by Teck Resources to shelve the giant Frontier oil sands project. Continue Reading →

With Gold Up, Miners Face Payouts Versus Production Dilemma – by Justina Vasquez, Danielle Bochove and Steven Frank (Bloomberg News/Financial Post – February 24, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — As gold prices rise, miners have been boosting shareholder payouts in the face of a decline in global output. That’s worrying some investors concerned about the longterm growth prospects of an industry built on a depleting resource.

The value of gold, a haven commodity, is driven more by global economics than supply and demand. It’s soaring toward $1,700 an ounce now on fear the coronavirus will harm growth.

Any unexpected event — from a surprising cure for the virus to a positive trade deal — could drop the value significantly. High prices put more gold scrap on the market, low ones boost hoarding and, if miner output remains static, so should profits. Continue Reading →

OPINION: The ‘iron road’ that brought ruin and death – by Stephen Maher (MACLEAN’S Magazine – February 17, 2020)

As tempers flare over rail protests and talk of the rule of law, consider the history of the CPR

Ask Canadians to describe their country and they talk about public health care and hockey, military valour on European battlefields, peacekeeping and multiculturalism.

But most industrialized countries have public health care, some better than ours. Lots of countries play hockey. Most societies have stories they tell themselves about military glory. Many countries do more to keep the peace around the world than we do.

If you were to describe this country to someone who had never heard of it, it would be accurate to describe Canada as a country built around a railway—the Canadian Pacific Railway—on land taken by force from Indigenous people. Continue Reading →

Police move in on Tyendinaga Mohawk rail protesters after deadline to clear site passes (Canadian Press/National Post – February 24, 2020)

By 8:30 a.m. EST Monday, reports indicated that police had begun to make moves to clear the site

TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY, Ont. — Ontario Provincial Police have moved to clear a rail blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. Police and CN Rail had given protesters until midnight Sunday to clear the blockade or face an investigation and possible criminal charges.

The deadline came and went, and the blockade near Belleville, Ont., that has crippled both freight and passenger rail traffic in most of eastern Canada for nearly three weeks remained in place Monday morning. However, by 8:30 a.m. EST Monday, reports indicated that police had begun to make moves to clear the site.

CP24 reports that a “large column” of OPP police vehicles approached the protesters. CTV reports that “several dozen” officers began arresting people and wrestling others to the ground. Continue Reading →

The thin white line: How Northern Ontario’s winter roads are built and kept safe to drive – by Marcus Gee (Globe and Mail – February 24, 2020)

Roy Moonias stands on a rise overlooking a frozen lake bathed in wintry moonlight. In the distance, the headlights of a big fuel truck appear. “It’s coming,” he shouts, holding up his phone to shoot some video.

Mr. Moonias has a professional interest in the truck’s progress: His men built the road it is travelling on. Open for only a few weeks a year, the winter road to his remote Indigenous community passes over muskeg, swamps, eskers, creeks and, finally, this lake. His crew has been striving since November to get it ready: Plowing, smoothing, flooding and clearing fallen timber until everything is just right, or as right as it can be on a road constructed of ice and snow on a foundation of muck.

Now, the road is set for its big test. Snowplows have cleared the ice on the lake, leaving a wide corridor lined by snowbanks that stretches a kilometre and a half from shore to shore. Crews have set up log posts fixed with reflectors to mark the way. Continue Reading →

Teck Resources pulling application for Frontier oil sands mine – by Robert Fife and Marieke Walsh (Globe and Mail – February 24, 2020)

Teck Resources Ltd. is pulling its application for the massive Frontier oil sands mine in Alberta, citing the need for Canada to finalize its climate-change policies and determine how resource development fits within them.

After years of companies shelving investment in the oil and gas sector, high hopes were pinned on the massive heavy-oil mine for its potential direct economic impact as well as the broader signal it would send to the market.

But the mine also landed at the centre of a heated debate both in Canada and internationally about the balance this country is striking between resource development and addressing climate change. Continue Reading →

Internal probe confirms Vale knew Brumadinho dam was unsafe – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – February 21, 2020)

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale (NYSE: VALE) has published the results of an independent report into the Córrego do Feijão mine’s tailings dam collapse that killed 270 people last year, which reveals the company knew about the facility’s fragile condition since 2003.

According to the document, prepared by a committee formed by Vale last year, concerns about how unstable the main B1 dam was were raised at various points over the course of 16 years, but the miner failed to appropriately deal with them.

Last month, state prosecutors charged Fabio Schvartsman, the chief executive at the time of the burst, and 15 other people with homicide. Schvartsman left his position at the company in March 2019. Continue Reading →

‘That’s not the way of our ancestors’: Wet’suwet’en matriarch speaks out about pipeline conflict – by Nancy MacDonald (Globe and Mail – February 21, 2020)

A Wet’suwet’en hereditary subchief who helped translate a seminal Supreme Court decision that laid the foundation for greater control for Indigenous communities over their land says she opposes the blockades that have been roiling the country.

Rita George also said Thursday that she and other matriarchs have been feeling sick about the conflict and how it has split their community. She said the opposing hereditary chiefs and some of the people around them – including outside activists who have embedded themselves in the protest camp – have disrespected ancient feast-house traditions of how to treat one another.

Ms. George said it caused her great pain to have to exercise her leadership by speaking out against some of her own and particularly those outsiders who have turned her northern British Columbia community into a battleground over issues of climate change policy, resource extraction and reconciliation. Continue Reading →

The biggest barrier to resolving this conflict — a handful of hereditary chiefs – by John Ivison (National Post – February 21, 2020)

If the chiefs are motivated more by environmental activism than Indigenous justice, there is likely to be little room for compromise

It’s been a good week for the Conservatives in terms of generating funds and support – possibly their best since Jody Wilson-Raybould appeared before the justice committee a year ago at the height of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Andrew Scheer was criticized in some quarters when he called for the government to direct the RCMP to clear away the rail blockades. That is playing with weeping gelignite – we are still in the realm of a political protest but it could flare into armed conflict if handled badly.

Yet Scheer and his parliamentary colleagues have been more in tune with the public mood than a government that has resembled the wallflower at the prom, paralyzed while waiting for a call to dance from Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs that is never likely to come. Continue Reading →

Cree leaders work to calm fears over surprising $4.7B infrastructure deal – by Susan Bell, Betsy Longchap and Christopher Herodier (CBC News North – February 20, 2020)

Cree leaders in Quebec are focused on reassuring a jittery population after announcing a far-reaching economic development agreement with Quebec regarding massive infrastructure improvements in the territory over the next 30 years and, very likely, more resource extraction projects.

The $4.7-billion Grande Alliance project was signed Monday by Cree Grand Chief Abel Bosum and Quebec Premier François Legault. It proposes a deep sea port, an improved and extended road network and a railway to be built up to the most northern reaches of Cree territory.

The deal came as a surprise to many Cree and had people expressing suspicion, worry and support for the deal on social media. People raised questions about what it will mean, how the land and animals would be affected, and how they will be consulted moving forward. Continue Reading →

Kirkland Lake Gold’s Tony Makuch our Mining Person of the Year for 2019 – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – February 20, 2020)

Global mining news

Tony Makuch, president and CEO of Kirkland Lake Gold, is The Northern Miner’s Mining Person of the Year for 2019. Under his leadership, Kirkland Lake Gold has outperformed its peers in the last 24 months. The company’s shares rose by 60% last year, it raised its dividend twice and more than doubled its cash position, ending 2019 with US$707 million in cash and equivalents.

Kirkland Lake Gold operates two of the highest grade gold mines in the world and produced a record 974,615 ounces of gold in 2019, a 35% year-on-year increase, anchored by its Macassa mine in Ontario, Canada and its Fosterville mine in the state of Victoria, Australia. It also produces gold at its Holt complex – a trio of mines (Holt, Taylor and Holloway) in Ontario.

Consolidated operating cash costs fell 22% year-on-year to US$284 per oz. sold, while all-in sustaining costs declined 18% to US$564 per oz. sold. Net earnings jumped 104% year-on-year to US$560 million or $2.67 per share, and free cash flow totalled US$463 million, an 81% increase over 2018. Continue Reading →

Tesla’s China surprise big blow for cobalt, nickel price bulls – by Frik Els ( – February 19, 2020)

Long-suffering cobalt bulls were dealt another blow on Wednesday after reports that the world’s largest electric carmaker is shifting some production of its most popular model away from batteries that contain nickel and cobalt.

In a surprise move, China’s top battery manufacturer CATL will supply Tesla with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries for its Model 3 production at its newly built $2 billion factory outside Shanghai.

The Model 3 is Tesla’s most popular, and the US-made version uses the company’s nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) cathode chemistry. Most other automakers favour nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) cathode chemistries. Continue Reading →

M&A deals reshape Canadian mining landscape – by Kelsey Rolfe (Northern Miner – February 19, 2020)

Global mining news

The flurry of M&A transactions last year brought a much-awaited consolidation of the global gold sector. It also brought significant changes to the Canadian mining landscape:

Newmont’s (NYSE: NEM) takeover of Goldcorp wiped a major Canadian firm off the board, and Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD), while still Canadian, has undeniably shifted its focus away from the country, with few executives remaining in its Toronto headquarters and only one Canadian mine.

Those headline-making deals have prompted concerns that Canada’s influence in the global gold mining sector is waning. Franco-Nevada (TSX: FNV; NYSE: FNV) Chairman Pierre Lassonde said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg in January 2019 that Barrick’s smaller footprint in Canada was the same kind of diminishment of the country’s mining sector that Barrick founder Peter Munk had decried. Continue Reading →

Meet Canada’s new racists: our self-mortifying ‘progressive’ urbanites – by Jonathan Kay (National Post – February 20, 2020)

Witness the white people demanding we strip away democratic Indigenous autonomy and deny First Nations the benefits of resource development

Next year will mark a quarter century since the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) released its final report, a five-year undertaking that laid out a proposed architecture for a new relationship between the Canadian government and its Indigenous peoples.

As Canada remains convulsed by a full-blown economic and transportation crisis that has utterly paralyzed our governments, it’s useful to look back at that landmark document to see how we failed.

The blueprint contained in the RCAP report was, in some ways, fundamentally unrealistic. (One key recommendation, for instance, was that Canada’s 600-plus Indigenous communities would voluntarily consolidate into 60 to 80 regional agglomerations that would share wealth and power among themselves.) Continue Reading →