Archive | Canadian Media Resource Articles

The numbers show our green obsession is hurting Canada – by Lorne Gunter (Toronto Sun – November 16, 2019)

For instance, Ontario Liberal policies gave that province the highest
electricity costs on the continent, which contributed to the loss of
200,000 manufacturing jobs in the past 15 years. … Instead, they
are now trying to duplicate their disaster on a national scale.

The latest numbers on economic productivity in Canada are extremely disappointing. And with the Liberals back in power, the numbers are about to get worse, especially considering that the Trudeau government is now held in office by three anti-development parties — the NDP, Greens and Bloc Quebecois.

Even our “have” provinces fall far behind the top American states. And Canada’s poorest — the three Maritime provinces — are at or below the lowest state, Mississippi.

According to work done by Trevor Tombe, a University of Calgary economist, Alberta is Canada’s wealthiest province with a per capita GDP of $64,000 US. Yet that is behind 16 American states. Indeed, Alberta is a full 25% below the richest American jurisdiction — New York state at $86,000. Continue Reading →

Vale Manitoba operations to make case for $1-billion investment in Thompson mine (CBC News Manitoba – November 16, 2019)

It’s believed investment could expand mine’s lifespan by 25 to 30 years

The operators of the Vale nickel mine in Thompson, Man., are hoping a $1-billion investment could extend the mine’s life span by 25 to 30 years. Gary Eyres, head of Vale’s Manitoba operations, said the mine’s team has been stepping up its exploration efforts, including aerial and magnetic surveys, and believes there are large enough ore deposits to warrant the investment.

Eyres says he’s confident that somewhere along the Thompson nickel belt is the equivalent of another mine “just waiting to be found.” They want to be able to present their case for it in the next six to 12 months to the company’s owners in Brazil, Eyres said

“Everything that I’m doing at the moment and our teams here in Thompson are doing at the moment, is we’re focusing only on when this happens, rather than if it happens,” he said. Continue Reading →

Flat drilling activity in Canada will result in more layoffs amid low-growth outlook for oil – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – November 13, 2019)

Next year could see almost 14,000 oilfield jobs lost: CAODC forecast

CALGARY – Drilling activity in Western Canada is poised to remain flat over the next year as drillers believe oil and gas sentiment is nearing an “all-time low” in the face of fresh forecasts that predict weak Canadian industry growth over the longer term.

The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors’ annual activity forecast released Wednesday predicted there will be 13,731 direct and indirect jobs losses in the oilfield during 2020.

The association has said its member companies have already moved 29 drilling rigs to the United States “in order to find work and generate cash flow” and those rigs include the larger, higher-technology rigs used to drill deep, horizontal wells in new formations in Western Canada. Continue Reading →

How Alberta pays Quebec’s bills: Four charts that show Alberta picks up the tab – by Bobby Hristova (National Post – November 15, 2019)

The nearly $240B Albertans have paid out as part of net federal fiscal transfers is more than one-and-a-half times as much as B.C. and Ontario combined

In just 11 years, Albertans have paid out almost $240 billion to the rest of Canada. That number is more than one-and-a-half times as much as B.C. and Ontario combined, whose taxpayers pitched in $54.6 billion and $97.9 billion respectively, the other two largest net contributors to the federal balance sheet.

The money is sent to Ottawa as part of net federal fiscal transfers — basically the residents of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario pay more in federal taxes than they get back in federal programs and transfers — they are net positive contributors to the federal finances. And in Alberta’s case it has been doing that for a lot of years.

Other provinces are net negative contributors — they get more back in federal programs and transfers than they give in taxes. In Quebec’s case its net negative contributor was minus $171.3 billion from 2007-2018. Continue Reading →

World’s biggest miner names Canadian as new CEO, raises intrigue about potash ambitions – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – November 14, 2019)

Decision could have consequences on whether BHP pushes forward with a massive potash project in Saskatchewan in the coming years

Canadian Mike Henry will be the next chief executive of giant Australian miner BHP Group, a decision that could have consequences on whether it pushes forward with a massive potash project in Saskatchewan in the coming years.

Henry, 53, takes the helm in January, leaving a month or so for him to transition from his current role as head of BHP’s Australian mining operations, where the company’s iron ore mines that account for nearly half its revenue are located.

One item on his eventual to-do list, though not necessarily at the top, will be whether the company will allocate $5 billion to construct the first phase of its Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan. The project would initially add four million tons of potash to the market and as much as four times that over time, which could drastically alter the supply and demand dynamics for existing producers such as Saskatoon-based Nutrien Ltd. Continue Reading →

Glencore Canada to shut Brunswick smelter, union laments ‘devasting blow’ ( – November 13, 2019)

The Canadian unit of global mining and commodities trader Glencore on Wednesday announced the permanent closure of the Brunswick lead smelter, which it said had become uneconomic after the closure of the Brunswick mine in 2013.

The company said that the decommissioning process would begin immediately and the smelter, in Belledune, would cease all operations by the end of the year, affecting more than 400 workers.

Glencore head of zinc and lead assets, Chris Eskdale said in a news release that the decision to cease lead smelting operations was a “very difficult one”. Continue Reading →

Hudbay takes $242m Rosemont impairment hit – by Mariaan Webb ( – November 12, 2019)

Canadian miner Hudbay has reported a third-quarter net loss of $274.8-million, reflecting an after-tax impairment loss of $242.1-million on the carrying value of its stalled Rosemont copper project, in the US.

The US District Court has blocked the company from constructing the copper mine in south-eastern Arizona, with the validity of mining claims that would allow for the disposal of waste on public lands adjacent to the operations at the heart of the matter.

Although Hudbay intends to appeal the court ruling, the company explained in its third-quarter results announcement on Monday that the recoverable amount of the Arizona cash generating unit was lower than its carrying value, resulting in an after-tax impairment loss. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto eyes copper deposit north of La Ronge – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – November 12, 2019)

One of the world’s largest mining companies is spending millions of dollars to look for copper in northern Saskatchewan — and could commit tens of millions more if its engineers and geologists like what the drill rigs uncover.

Rio Tinto Exploration Canada Inc. spent the summer taking core samples at the Janice Lake copper deposit north of La Ronge after signing an option agreement with Forum Energy Metals Corp., which acquired the property in 2017.

Under the terms of the agreement, Rio Tinto can spend up to $30 million over seven years to acquire an 81 per cent stake in the property, which was staked in the 1960s and bounced between companies before ending up in Forum’s portfolio. Continue Reading →

Semafo faces criticism for lax security after deadly attack on workers in Burkina Faso – by Nicolas Van Praet and Geoffrry York (Globe and Mail – November 12, 2019)

Montreal gold miner Semafo Inc. is coming under criticism for ineffective security measures in Burkina Faso after one of the worst terrorist attacks on employees of a Canadian company.

“We have concerns about just how safe” the situation was for Semafo’s workers and business partners, said Odette Napina, project leader at Organisation pour le Renforcement des Capacités de Développement, an independent group that monitors the social and economic impact of the mining industry in Burkina Faso.

Assailants ambushed a convoy of five buses carrying Semafo employees, contractors and suppliers under military escort last Wednesday in one of the deadliest insurgent attacks in the West African country in recent years. No one has claimed responsibility for the incident. The company on Monday finally provided a clearer picture of the human toll from the raid. Continue Reading →

Canadian carbon guilt belongs in a parallel universe – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – November 12, 2019)

Canada boasts that it has reduced coal usage. … India’s minister
of coals and mines said recently that Coal India, the government
-owned national producer, aimed to boost output to one billion
tonnes a year from about 700 million tonnes currently.

As the political convulsions within Canada over Alberta’s fossil fuel future unfold, including divisive talk of separation and Wexit, one has to wonder what alternative planet Canadians inhabit.

After an election filled with emergency calls to end fossil fuel use within a decade or two, the country that was built on natural resources is now being torn apart over whether to build a pipeline to carry a few driblets of oil through the Trans Mountain pipeline to the West Coast.

Driblets is the right word in the context of Planet Earth. Global oil production may already exceed 100 million barrels a day. The additional volume of oil to be delivered through the proposed TMX expansion line — about 600,000 barrels a day — is equivalent to 0.6 per cent of global production. By way of comparison, imagine standing in front of a supermarket aisle of 2,000 cans of beer; proportionately, TMX would add two six-packs. Continue Reading →

Morales manoeuvred himself out of Bolivia’s presidency – by Gwynne Dyer (London Free Press – November 11, 2019)

“Democracy is in danger in Bolivia as the result of legitimate pressures from the poor. We cannot generate economic growth and well-being for a few and then expect that the large majorities that are excluded will watch silently and patiently.”

A recent president of Bolivia said that, but it wasn’t Evo Morales (who has just quit). It was Carlos Mesa, the man whom Morales tried to cheat out of the presidency in last month’s election. Mesa said it in 2005, the last time he was president, just before he quit and Morales won a landslide victory in the election triggered by his resignation.

Most outside commentators used to stick to a simple script when talking about Bolivia. Morales was the good guy because he was the country’s first Indigenous president (he grew up speaking Aymara, and learned Spanish only as a young adult) and because he looked like and seemed to care about the poor majority of Bolivians. Continue Reading →

Bolivia: Where revolutionaries and lithium miners go to die – by Rick Mills ( – December 26, 2018)

Other than being the country where Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara was killed, most North Americans know little about Bolivia.

The landlocked country is surrounded by Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile. Today, it is South America’s poorest nation. But in the 1960s, Bolivia was going to be the launchpad of Che Guevara’s socialist revolution.

Born in Argentina, Ernesto “Che” Guevara became radicalized by the poverty, hunger and disease he saw while traveling South America as a young medical student. He got involved in social reforms enacted by Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz, which were resisted by the United States. Continue Reading →

Reopening of Boungou mine in Burkina will depend on security: Semafo (Reuters Canada – November 11, 2019)

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Canadian gold miner Semafo will not resume operations at its Boungou mine in Burkina Faso until security in the area is assured following last week’s deadly ambush on a road to the site, the company said on Monday.

At least 39 people were killed in the attack on the Semafo convoy last Wednesday, the latest in a series of high-profile actions in a country plagued by jihadist violence.

A total of 241 employees, contractors and suppliers were caught up in the attack, which killed at least 39 and wounded 60 with one person still unaccounted for, Semafo said. Continue Reading →

Kenney’s plan to get Alberta out from under Trudeau before he completely destroys it – by Diane Francis (Financial Post – November 11, 2019)

He also pointed out, to those who claim that the world must wean
itself from oil, that this is irrational. “The International Energy
Agency says global demand for oil will increase from 100 million
barrels per day to 110 million barrels a day by 2040. The same
agency says that, even if there is full compliance with the Paris
Treaty on climate, the demand by 2040 will be 80 million barrels
per day,” he said. “And natural gas demand globally will double”.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s father rolled out the National Energy Program in 1980 — a punitive tax grab for Alberta’s oil revenues to pay for the Liberal welfare state. Years later, Justin Trudeau did a redo by discriminating against Alberta’s oil industry to pay for his welfare state, phoney climate agenda and Quebec goodies.

But again, the jig’s up and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney came out fighting this weekend and, as many of us have recommended, embarked on a “workaround” strategy to get out from under Trudeau and the Laurentian elites who still control Canada.

Instead of a national energy grab, this Trudeau has cloaked himself in green by attacking the oil industry without even addressing the real problem which is demand. Continue Reading →

It took decades to push Alberta to this point — but it was inevitable – by Kelly McParland (National Post – November 11, 2019)

Kenney’s panel will look at these and other issues, including
deep disgruntlement with the equalization program that treats
Alberta as a “have” province while sending $13 billion — 65
per cent of the national total — to “have not” Quebec. Quebec’s
payment rose sharply this year, even as it announced a $4
billion surplus. Alberta, in contrast, expects a shortfall of
$8.7 billion for the same period.

The combative address Jason Kenney delivered in Red Deer on Saturday didn’t come out of the blue. This is a storm cloud that’s been hovering around Alberta for a very long time. Eventually it was going to erupt.

There have been plenty of precursors. From Pierre Trudeau’s first lunge at Alberta’s oil wealth almost 40 years ago via the National Energy Program, Albertans have kept a wary eye on Ottawa and its grabby revenue fingers. Continue Reading →