Post-truth – Word of the Year

Post-truth encompasses fake news on the Internet and in corporate media, numerous stories and issues ignored, politics, packaged as a game, and elections, as a half-time show.

by Bruce Mason

We should be truly grateful for the freebie gift of “post-truth,” handed to us by Oxford Dictionaries as their choice for Word of the Year in summing up 2016.

As in ‘post-truth politics,’ the adjective relates to “when objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion.” Pretty much wraps up contemporary reality, perfectly. Nine letters and a hyphen to help us address and understand our common global Frequently Asked Question (FAQ): “What’s happening?” Post-truth provides a handle on what’s ahead – a ready-made resolution for 2017.

Humanity, divided and falling, is being conquered by post-truth. The dark-art master is president-elect of the self-destructing super-power south of our border. For example, there is widespread belief in the US that millions of voters cast ballots illegally. However it has been determined in post-election studies there were four such documented incidents, or 0.000002 percent of the tally. When confronted with the facts of voter fraud, Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway responded that Trump was “messaging to his supporters and to the rest of the country the way he feels.” But it’s also practised and perfected by our prime minister and premier, the ‘princess’ of post-truth. They fiddle around the edges of existential crises while preaching nonsensical rubbish about fossil fuels, oil spill recovery, Reconciliation, ‘Real Change’ and the like, as if they are actually doing something constructive in our collective downward spiral.

Jon Stewart popularized p-t, and Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness” has the same quality: seeming, or being felt to be true, but not necessarily so. Casper Grathwohl, head of Oxford Dictionaries, won’t be surprised if post-truth becomes the “defining word of our time.”

Justin Trudeau vows to price carbon emissions – by 2018 – to “show leadership that, quite frankly, the entire world is looking for.” Undeterred by an assertion that climate change is a “hoax,” he congratulated Donald J. Trump: “Our shared values are strong. Our common purpose, to build countries where everyone has a fair chance to succeed, and where government works first, foremost and always, for the people it serves. The Canadian government will continue its hard work toward these ends, and we offer our hand in partnership with our neighbours as friends and allies.” A post-truth mural, and masterpiece.

Truth is we can’t expand tar sands AND keep our promised climate targets, clean oil spills, honour First Nations, or find the will to get on with what is urgently required. Trudeau, initially perceived as an ‘anti-Trump,” now provides fuel and pipes for a climate bomb that The Donald is fusing with mega-tons of infantile denial and ignorance of reality.

From 2013 to 2015, Canada’s government granted $3.3billion in subsidies for fossil fuel extraction incentives and research and development (R&D), essentially paying polluters $19 for each tonne of carbon dioxide emitted. Critics liken it to taxing cigarettes with one hand while giving breaks to tobacco companies on the other. Three+billion could jump-start renewables to catch up with the rest of the world (ROTW). However, in fairness, the rest of the world also supports fossil fuel, to the tune of $5.3trillion a year, equivalent to $10m a minute, every day, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). That’s more than the world spends on health, including subsidies and support, as well as on pollution and the costs associated with extreme weather.

But, as the Guardian asked on October 29, “Think Canada is a progressive paradise? That’s Mooseshit! We broker deals for an obscene number of weapons, and we frequently run roughshod over the rights of indigenous people. And don’t even get us started on your favourite wonderboy, Justin Trudeau.”

The byline is Jesse Brown, co-author of Canadaland (Touchstone), who adds, “Despite Trudeau’s progressive branding, Canada is right where Stephen Harper left us. A year since the election, we’re still selling arms to Saudi Arabia, still cutting $36bn from healthcare and still basing our economy on fossil fuel extraction, running roughshod over indigenous rights… while backtracking on a campaign promise for electoral reform.”

“Decision-based evidence-making, to maintain the status quo, not ‘evidence-based decision making’ promised in the election,” says NDP MP Nathan Cullen, a member of the electoral reform committee, charged with finding an alternative to (“the last”) first-past-the-post.

Meanwhile, too few Canadians are aware of our shiny, new privatization bank. “Unprecedented,” enthuses Canada’s top business lobbyist, John Manley (a former deputy prime minister and frequent corporate elite mouthpiece), “a once-in-a-generation opportunity.” The Liberal plan: sell off public assets to raise money for a wave of private investors to build and operate infrastructure. One planner, Adam Vaughan, insists that “to be afraid of the private sector when fixing Canada’s infrastructure is shortsighted, stupid, irresponsible.”

Really? A November Ipsos Reid/Ontario poll found 75 percent of those surveyed oppose privatization. In London, Paris and Hamburg, governments are bringing work back in-house from private contracts. Ditto for water management in Sooke, Port Hardy and White Rock, garbage collection in Port Moody and recreation in Cranbrook, etc.

Few Canadians deny the need to fix congested roads and crumbling bridges; overcrowded, underfunded public transportation; and emission-reductions to avert climate catastrophe, floods and fires. But privatizations aren’t what we voted for.

Closer to home, the Woodfibre fracked gas plant in Howe Sound cleared a hurdle when, at last month’s BC Liberal convention, kicked off with “Free Enterprise Friday,” a sustained standing ovation greeted the news. “Jobs and the Cleanest LNG in the world,” they cheered, “BC is #1” But it’s one of five projects promised, by 2020, which might be delivered (maybe) – a $1.6bn fossil fuel investment, 650 construction jobs and a mere 100 ongoing, when/if it becomes operational.

At the same time, a new poll found 73% in BC want to pause Site C Dam construction. BC Hydro admits we won’t need new power until 2028, at the earliest. The *poll was conducted by Insights West for DeSmog Canada. In it, 92% support efficiency measures and wind, solar and geothermal power added to the grid, as needed. A small minority favour what Christy vows to get past the “point of no return,” before the May election.

A final few words about Word of the Year (WOTY), a labour of love from folks who pore over millions of words to find the ones that pop up most often. The idea: track change in language and choose those that capture “the ethos, mood or preoccupations” over the last 12 months.

The WOTY is the most impactful, the one wee word at the top of minds and tips of tongues as information transmogrified into commodity, truth into a brand and disinformation, a product universally marketed, 24/7. Post-truth encompasses fake news, awash on the Internet and in corporate media, the numerous stories and issues ignored, politics, packaged as a game, and elections, as a half-time show.

Post-truth is created and normalized by elites that fear our collective will, above all else. So it also provides a catch-all awareness, to connect myriad dots and disparate progressive causes together – those that really matter –where they belong. We have much more in common than not, including the desire for health, happiness and connection with others. There’s money enough hidden in tax havens, obscene loopholes and subsidies, and dark money, dirty beyond laundering. Our common future is too important to be left to the greedy and their puppets and corporate media stenographers. Only we the people make real change. No one else should, or ever will.

Too revolutionary and far-fetched? Harry Truman said, “I don’t give anybody Hell, I just speak the truth and it sounds like Hell to some folks.” The unvarnished skinny is, and always has been, so-called “ordinary people.” The 90+ percent can find and stand on common ground in collective strength that resides in empathy, compassion and respect for human values, skills, decency and dignity. Justice, equity, the best possible environment and government to serve people not corporations, seem like lost myths. The truth is we have no real choice and little to lose by envisioning a world beyond post-truth. We must stand for and create a better world, and word, in 2017.

* See

Post-truth in pictures

In our highly digitized, post-truth world, the ancient sage Confucius would undoubtedly revise the maxim, “One picture is worth a thousand words” to “millions of words.”

Picture this: The Donald screaming at photographers to turn around and click on crowds at rallies. Or selfie-king Justin Trudeau, sometimes shirtless, sometimes dressed to the hilt (Vogue magazine), inside Buckingham Palace, or backstage hugging the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie, or in other venues where press photojournalists have limited or no access. Justin, it appears, won’t step foot outside 24 Sussex Drive without cameras or audio on-hand. And then there’s the flood of old-fashioned press releases, massaged and spun to near-death in today’s Newspeak.

Not to be outdone, Christy Clark, coined “Premier photo-op” by the NDP opposition, has adjusted the focus for the upcoming election (May 7, 2017). Since cancelling the fall session of the legislature, she has mimicked the endless US-style election cycle in highly flattering and proliferating “government” ads. Now she’s hired three-time photojournalist winner of the year, John Lehmann, away from the Globe and Mail. He will document her black-top electioneering, with his fee picked up by the Party. Good job the BC Liberals have a multi-million-dollar war chest.

That investment is already paying off in spades in a crop of new pics. Access and angle are everything in picture storytelling and, in the past, Christie has been justifiably ridiculed for photos of herself in hard-hats and saris, draped in Aboriginal art, or scarily propped up behind podiums and in front of larger-than-life slogans. She already has three video camera persons at her disposal, but in Lehmann’s camera-and-consumer-ready work, it looks as if our Prem has had a world-class makeover, no longer appearing so divisive, strident and clichéd.

Not to worry about words, though. Her government communications army now numbers more than 200, 10 times the number of reporters in BC’s press gallery. Post-journo candidates for BC Libs include former BCTV morning man, Steve Darling and LNG front-man, Jas Johal.

The duo may or may not earn their stripes to lurk in Victoria hallways. But Lehmann will still have lots of company in leg cafeterias and watering holes. Stephen Smart (CBC, CTV and CKNW) is Clark’s press secretary. Ben Chin, (CBC, CTV and City TV) is communications director. Sean Leslie (‘NW legislature bureau chief) landed a senior communications gig in Social Development. Scott Sutherland (Canadian Press), Graham Currie (CKNW), Jeff Rud (Times-Colonist) and Brennan Clarke (Black Press) are all on the government/taxpayer payroll. And, of course, Clark’s pal Pamela Martin (BCTV) is BC Liberals’ director of engagement.

BC is indeed #1, including its #1 spin doctoring for the best government we can buy (on sale), yet again.

scary clown illustration by Thomas Voidh

Rescuing the Canadian Economy

Our federal government appears to be hell-bent to ratify and implement CETA, the 600-page Canada-Europe treaty that few, if any, members of parliament have read. Consequently, they can’t possibly understand that they are unilaterally amending the Canadian Constitution.

by Paul Hellyer

The people own the patent to create money. The banks do not! They are simply licensees that enjoy the unique privilege of creating what we call money (bank deposits) to the extent approved by parliament.

So, here we are at the end of another year, and Canada has reached a historic crossroad. The existing system of having all money created as debt has reached a dead end. If we borrow more, there is no way to pay it off, and we will be paying interest forever. Similarly, higher taxes are not the answer. They are already too high for people with low income.

The only common sense solution is to have the federal government use its power to have the Bank of Canada create enough money to meet our essential needs. We know that will work because we did it from 1939 to 1974, and it worked like a charm. The only impediment today is the lack of political will.

If you ask a politician or bureaucrat, why they don’t support government-created money (GCM), they respond, “That would be inflationary”. This is because one of their professors told them so, and they repeat it as rote.

How do I know it is not inflationary? It is because we Canadians created large sums of GCM for 35 years and our economy was no more inflationary than the average.

As anyone in the business should know, it is the amount of money created that determines prices and not who prints it. Money is money whether it is government-created (GCM), or bank-created money (BCM).

Under the current system of so-called “capital adequacy” the banks are really free to increase their capital, print more money, and create an inflationary bubble, as they have on many occasions.

The current system where banks create about 97% of the total money supply, all of it as debt on which interest has to be paid, while no one creates any money with which to pay the interest, is inherently inflationary. That is due to the fact that to keep the economy growing it is necessary to create (a) enough new moneyeach year to pay the interest on the existing debt and (b) enough additional debt money to keep the economy growing, however slowly.

A good example of government-created money being used for a long period without inflationary effects is The Isle of Guernsey. They have printed money for 200 years to pay for all of its public works. The result has not been inflation.The result has been full employment and no debt.

On the other hand the failure of the present system to maintain the value of money can be illustrated by the fact that one U.S. dollar at the time that the Federal Reserve System was established just over 100 years ago, is worth about 3 cents today. Talk about inflation!

Our federal government appears to be hell-bent to ratify and implement CETA, the 600-page Canada-Europe treaty that few, if any, members of parliament have read. Consequently, they can’t possibly understand that they are unilaterally amending the Canadian Constitution by giving international banks a veto over our sovereign right to create our own money for our benefit. In effect they will be killing the goose that can lay those golden eggs. To do this is morally intolerable.

One advantage of being old is that I have seen the systems that work and ones that don’t. I am 100% convinced that our government is headed in the wrong direction. The stakes are so high, and I feel so strongly that we must try to salvage the situation before it is too late, that I asked two of my visionary friends to join me in retaining Rocco Galati, one of Canada’s best constitutional lawyers. We have launched an action in federal court to restrain the government and parliament from implementing CETA, on the grounds that it is beyond their power to compromise the most basic of our sacred rights of self-government.

Fighting the federal government in court is a very expensive procedure. But when our government favours the rich and powerful 1% at the expense of the 99%, there is no alternative.

Please join us on this very critical initiative to rescue our economy.


Paul Hellyer is a former Minister of Defence. He will present these subjects in Toronto on December 15th at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 7 pm, 252 Bloor Street West. Free event. In Vancouver, there will be short films, panel and discussion on January 25th. VanCity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street, doors at 6 pm. Suggested $10 donation to cover rental costs. Email: Phone: 604.329.1706

Housing crisis a public health emergency

houses behind bars

Some physicians have gone so far as to label homelessness a palliative diagnosis. Not having a home can be lethal. Homelessness causes premature death, poor health and is a significant burden on our health care system.

by Tim Richter and Ryan Meili

One of the biggest factors that determine whether people will stay healthy or wind up needing emergency or chronic medical care is where they live. People without access to stable housing are at higher risk of illness, and their likelihood of recovering well from that illness is greatly diminished.

How bad is Canada’s housing crisis? According to the newly released National Shelter Study, Canada’s emergency shelters are packed to the rafters. People are languishing in homelessness longer, and their ranks increasingly include seniors, veterans and families with children. Shamefully, Indigenous Canadians are over 10 times more likely than non-Indigenous people to end up in emergency shelter.

This report paints only a partial picture of homelessness in Canada, including only emergency shelters. The sad reality is that over 35,000 Canadians are homeless on a given night with more than 235,000 Canadians experiencing homelessness at some point every year, whether they sleep in shelters, on the street, couch surf, wait unnecessarily in hospital or other temporary accommodation.

Beyond a crisis of housing and poverty, homelessness is a public health emergency. The longer people are homeless, the worse their health becomes. A recent report from British Columbia suggests life expectancy for people experiencing homelessness in that province is half that of other British Columbians.

Some physicians have gone so far as to label homelessness a palliative diagnosis. Not having a home can be lethal. Homelessness causes premature death, poor health and is a significant burden on our health care system.

Today, more than 1.5 million Canadian households live in core housing need, with over half of those households living in extreme core housing need (living in poverty and spending over 50 percent of their income on housing).

The crisis stands to get worse before it gets better as federal operating agreements for older social housing expire and over 300,000 more households risk losing the subsidies that keep their housing affordable.

In the last 20 years, as Canada’s population has grown, federal funding for affordable housing has dropped more than 46 percent. This has meant at least 100,000 units of affordable housing were not built. Canada’s homelessness crisis is the direct result of this federal withdrawal from housing investment. The new federal government has promised a National Housing Strategy, and has begun consultations.

The most pressing problem – finding stable housing for those who are currently homeless or at risk for homelessness – is one that, fortunately, can be solved. We need to start by collecting real-time, person-specific data on homelessness and expanding the application of the Housing First model of supportive housing for individuals with greater challenges. Housing First ( is an evidence-based approach to ending homelessness that provides direct access to permanent housing and support.

Tim Richter is the president and CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (, a national movement of individuals, organizations and communities working together to end homelessness in Canada. Ryan Meili is a Family Physician in Saskatoon, an expert advisor with Evidence Network and founder of Upstream.

Diluted bitumen unsafe in any waters and should be banned


Bitumen, the product being extracted from the Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan Tar Sands operations, is similar to bunker crude. It also must be heated to be pumped. To make it flow in a pipeline a thinning agent is added.

The faulty logic of Trudeau’s Kinder Morgan Pipeline approval

by Merv Richie

For many years now the British Columbian population has endured news, commentaries and protests regarding the prospects of petroleum products being piped across the province and shipped by tankers from West Coast ports. Missing from the debate, including the recent decisions by the government of Justin Trudeau, is the various types of product and the present day dangers the coast faces now with all vessels.

The Nathan E. Stewart, which ran aground and sank at Bella Bella on October 13, 2016, highlights these dangers. Almost every vessel, from small fish boats to dry goods freighters has all their fuel uncontained. The MV Rena, which struck a reef and broke up spoiling the beaches of New Zealand five years ago, was a dry goods freighter. Everyday there are approximately 15 similar freighters moored in English Bay, each with an average of 3 million litres of Bunker Crude in their keel holds. Only 3/4 of an inch of steel separates the bunker fuel from the open ocean and our waterfront. A full 45 million litres or as much as the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. All of this bunker crude and all fuel in almost all vessels waits to be spilled. The Nathan E. Stewart is our wake up call to demand fuel containment in all BC waters.

Most common of the refined petroleum products are diesel and gasoline. Besides the dozens of other products refined from crude oil the remaining sludge, a dirty sulphurous residue, is bunker crude. This is stored as ballast in the ‘keel hold’ at the bottom of all freighters. The consistency is such that it cannot be pumped without heating. When cold, it is like tar; in fact it is exactly the same substance we mix with gravel to pave our road surfaces. All freighters run on this filth after they leave populated harbours.

Bitumen, the product being extracted from the Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan Tar Sands operations, is similar to bunker crude. It also must be heated to be pumped. To make it flow in a pipeline a thinning agent is added. This is where the term Dil-Bit comes from; diluted bitumen. The thick bitumen is diluted with a product called ‘condensate’. Condensate is a very toxic and explosive gas. It is a by-product of wet natural gas wells. Commonly called ‘white gas’ it contains hydrogen sulfide, methanol, ethynol, cyclohexane, naphthene, benzene, toluene, xylenes and ethyl benzene. This product is being imported into Canada by ship and by rail from Kitimat to Alberta for the present pipeline system.

Therefore, we have a variety of substances to consider along with the manner in which these substances are transported. Each has their own hazards and management issues.

When the Lac Megantic disaster happened, the tragic explosion of a runaway train carrying oil, the product was not just oil. It was a mixture of oil and gas. Most adults understand one cannot light a litre of 10W30 engine oil. But if one was to add a bit of gasoline to the bottle we would essentially be creating a bomb. One wouldn’t want to stand too close when lighting it. That is exactly what was on the rails at Lac Megantic: bombs, crude oil mixed with gas.

What happened at Kalamazoo Michigan from the ‘Dil-Bit’ was a different result from the same mixture. When the Enbridge pipeline burst, a spray of pressurized ‘Dil-Bit’ hit the atmosphere. The local population suffered the effects of the toxicity. The suddenly aerosolized poisons of the condensate created neurotoxins.

Dil-Bit therefore is nothing short of an extremely explosive toxic nerve gas bomb.

Raw crude oil, without any added or present gases is difficult to transport by pipelines; for bitumen it is impossible. The added difficulty for Canadian bitumen is the corrosive sediment remaining after initial processing. The life of the pipelines is substantially reduced due to increased wear, much like sandpaper, the bitumen presents.

Transporting bitumen by rail car is not dangerous as long as it is not diluted or heated; shipped cold and raw. Bunker crude is shipped this way today. A derailment would see the product simply stay where it spilled even if a rail car broke open. A fully refined product, Dil-Bit or condensate would pollute flowing freely, vaporize or even ignite.

All these products are loaded onto vessels plying our waters completely un-contained. The rail cars or pipelines fill storage tanks next to the waters or are emptied directly into the vessel at port. This in itself presents a variety of potential for spillage. At Kitimat the condensate is reportedly spilled regularly. Tank farms are known to spring leaks including the one Kinder Morgan operates at Burrard Inlet, and spills occur while filling vessels. In fact most pleasure craft and fishing vessels are filled until the overflow spills out into the waters. All of these hazards and spillages could be resolved by a demand for containment by our governments.

In 1965 Ralph Nader wrote Unsafe at Any Speed. It was a critical examination of the Automobile Industry’s refusal to consider adding safety features such as seat belts. The industry, Nader detailed, sacrificed the lives of thousands by their combined refusal to address the very real and obvious hazards. A clear analogy is obvious here. The automobile industry complained loudly against regulation of their product, arguing the extra costs would bankrupt them or make their product unaffordable. Now safety is one of the auto industries greatest advertising features, adding airbags and protection devices wherever possible.

The petroleum and marine shipping industry could achieve the same result. Just as was required for the auto industry, regulations and changes will need to be enforced.

All vessels must be required to be retrofitted to have their fuel stored in removable containers. In the case of freighters, the rail cars presently delivering bunker crude could be redesigned to be detached from the rail bed, just as containers are today. These could then be lowered into refabricated holds on the vessel. A Panamax freighter would likely require 30 of these removable tank cars. Each could be connected to the fuel system by an electrically operated solenoid valve such that in the case of loss of power or impending disaster, the valves would secure the fuel. The very same fuel containment system must be made mandatory on all vessels. Sealed, removable fuel modules.

Just like a family going out for boating trip on a boat with a small outboard motor, the fuel is generally carried on board in a specially designed fuel tank. The hose is connected and with a couple squeezes on the fuel ball, the motor is ready to start.

Presently most vessels are unsafe in any waters. While there is justifiable outrage at Prime Minister Trudeau’s approval of the Kinder Morgan expansion plans, there is the opportunity to address the dangers present today.

If we demanded an immediate change to all fuel containment systems having bunker fuel and crude or bitumen transported cold and raw in detachable rail cars, sealed from the point of production to the destination, loaded in the same manner as ‘Sea Can’ containers are today, the dangers would be greatly reduced. An added benefit would be the reduced need for importing condensate to make toxic nerve gas and bombs. Dil-Bit needs to be completely banned. j

The Nathan E. Stewart was a wakeup call, as is the still-leaking Queen of the North; and the MV Bovec balancing on a reef off Prince Rupert in 2000 is similar to the MV Rena in New Zealand. British Columbia is just lucky to not have a disaster on its shores. And this is long before more tanker traffic arrives.

Let’s mark Canada’s 150th birthday by establishing a Department of Peace

Canadian Peace Initiative logo

There is currently no strategic focus for peace in government, and there has rarely been a greater urgency or a better window of opportunity to consider the creation of a Department of Peace in our country.

by Canadian Peace Initiative

Canada has a proud history of peacekeeping. Now, more than ever, we need Canada to take leadership and open the road to peace for the rest of the world.

The call is out to establish a Department of Peace on our 150th birthday. We have the opportunity to bring a beacon of light to the fragile state of our planet, racked by war, devastation and fear.

This is not a far-fetched idea, but something tangible that the Canadian Peace Initiative has worked on for years. Right now, a unique opportunity is open: You can directly ask Canada to increase its capabilities in peace leadership.

Read more…

Issues that demand connection and action

Thanks to donations from readers, DeSmog Canada was able to send photographer Garth Lenz to the Peace to capture the ongoing construction and the landscapes and lives that stand to be affected by Site C Dam.

Connecting the dots

by Bruce Mason

Corporate media may be denying or ignoring their existence, but the world is awash in unprecedented, existential crises: from Syria to Standing Rock, global climate tipping points, to so-called trade deals that enable greedy elites to prevent action, from international anti-nuclear arms initiatives, to the ugly, unwelcome return of the Cold War. The army of so-called mainstream media journalists, increasingly irrelevant and nearing extinction, are paid to prop up the multi-national corporate agendas. Instead of calling it mass media, the more accurate moniker is corporate media.

We turn your attention instead to independent social media; just type the headlines below into your search bar.

Read more…

Site C and LNG: a tenuous relationship

say no to Site C

Site C would be BC’s most expensive infrastructure project ever. Its debt funding will be loaded onto the shoulders of our children. It needs a convincing business case and, so far, that case is anything but convincing.

by Eoin Finn B.Sc., Ph.D., MBA

The relationship between the LNG industry and the Site C’s power is tenuous at best. To date, four LNG plants – LNG Canada, Kitimat LNG, Woodfibre LNG and now Pacific NorthWest LNG – have received export licenses and environmental certificates from Canada’s Governments. Only one – the small-scale Woodfibre plant in Vancouver’s Howe Sound – will use grid electricity to power its liquefaction process. All the much-larger plants will each burn about 10 percent of their gas intake to power the minus 162oC refrigeration process. If built, they would together add about 30 million tonnes to BC’s annual carbon emissions – a 50 percent increase. Upstream emissions would at least double that.

When I first settled in Vancouver in 1978, I went to a Canadian Club lunch. The guest speaker was BC Hydro’s CEO, who sternly warned the audience that, unless he got the OK to build three nuclear plants, the coal-fired Hat Creek and the Site C dam, we would in future have to munch on sushi in the dark. That was my introduction to “hydronomics”, and the engineers who want to keep on building dams – proving that, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

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Natural health products are not drugs

food and natural

Changing the way NHPs are regulated will have an impact on the products you will find on your store shelves. Providing the evidence required for drugs is vastly expensive, which is why the price for drugs is significantly higher compared to NHPs.

Tell Health Canada to leave our NHPs alone


by Helen Long

Health Canada has recently launched the Consulting Canadians on the Regulation of Self-Care Products in Canada document. Previously referred to as the Consumer Health Product Framework, this document has changed dramatically since its original inception, and proposes that, in the future, many natural health products (NHPs) be regulated using the same rules as drugs.

Read more…

Health Canada expands power with the Wookey decision

glass of water

The Ontario Court of Appeal found that a drug is any substance that modifies an organic function. That definition would lnclude water.

The noose tightens

by Shawn Buckley

The Ontario Court of Appeal found that a drug is any substance that modifies an organic function. That definition would lnclude water.

Many of the broad powers that created concern years ago with Bill C-51 are now law in the Food and Drugs Act. The only saving grace is they do not yet apply to natural health products because of the public backlash that readers like you created during the Bill C-51 fight. Eventually, I predict the broad powers we were all concerned about will apply to natural products. A story, or stories, about harm caused by natural products will circulate in the media, and calls for imposing the broad powers on natural products will be made. Armed with the public cry for protection, the government will dutifully comply and expand the powers to cover natural health products. At that point, anyone involved in natural health could be completely and totally destroyed financially and jailed for long periods for not complying with Health Canada demands, regardless of how unfounded they may be and regardless of whether complying will cause harm or death to others.

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Canadians want climate plan, not fracked LNG

by Bruce Mason


• On October 2, when Canada’s environment ministers met in Montreal, they were made aware of how Canadians view key climate issues. Topping the list: the majority (66%) of Canadians support an effective climate plan to meet targets.

The new public opinion research revealed a substantial majority of respondents (70%) believe climate change is a significant threat to Canada’s economic future. It also found that 60% support a price on carbon emissions everywhere in the country.

The survey of 1,000 Canadians, conducted by Nanos Research for Clean Energy Canada, was released as federal, provincial and territorial environment ministers gathered to prepare for a First Ministers’ Meeting on climate change later this year.

“The public is sending a clear signal. They’re tired of bickering among politicians,” reported Merran Smith, Clean Energy’s executive director. “Canadians want to see provinces do their part, but they also want the federal government to pick up the slack if provinces don’t deliver necessary results.”

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