Resistance to Arctic drilling worth remembering

standing before an oil rig

From activists who scaled Shell’s rig in April or who stopped one of Shell’s ships this July, to the millions of people all over the world who signed petitions, paraded with polar bears, shared stories and helped organize for real environmental justice, this is YOUR victory.

I’m standing between Shell and the Arctic – join me

by Audrey Siegl

» Audrey Siegl, a Musqueam woman from BC, is a First Nations artist, activist, renowned public speaker and a drummer and singer. In the photo above, she stands in a Greenpeace rhib launched from the MY Esperanza holding her arm out in front her, defiantly signalling Shell’s subcontracted drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, to stop.

Read moreResistance to Arctic drilling worth remembering

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

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 moreIssues that demand connection and action

Why we need a Natural Health Products Act!

Common Ground, along with many other organizations, businesses, and millions of natural health products customers across Canada, for decades have demanded that the government of the day leave our very safe natural products alone. They are not drugs and should be respected as such by giving then their own Natural Health Products Act.

Open letter to
Prime Minister, Right Honourable Justin Trudeau;
Minister of Health, Honourable Jane Philpott; and
Deputy Minister of Health, Simon Kennedy

I object to Health Canada’s (HC’s) proposals to classify Natural Health Products (NHPs) with prescription drugs! It is no secret in Ottawa that the pharmaceutical industry exerts massive influence on HC, and HC’s excuses for these proposals, based on safety and claims, are invalid. I urge you to use my tax dollars to support the creation of a new Natural Health Products Act (NHPA) to protect my access and freedom of choice.

In over 60 years in Canada, involving far in excess of 100,000 NHPs, taken by millions of Canadians daily, totalling billions to trillions of doses, the death total is zero (0). This makes NHPs safer than food or water and means that HC legally has no jurisdiction over NHPs since the Food and Drugs Act only grants HC powers over substances that pose a demonstrable risk, not made-up, theoretical risks with no actual occurrences like HC poses for NHPs.

Conversely, according to a report by past MP, Terence Young, as many as 20,000 Canadians die each year from pharmaceuticals, hence, over a million deaths in the same 60-year time period. And HC is proposing to regulate them together based on safety? This is absurd.

Not surprisingly, HC’s proposals come now with the Liberal government signalling they will sign the misleadingly named “free-trade deals” with Europe and Asia, i.e. CETA and TPP, which contain allowances for expansion of pharmaceutical patents and massive losses of Canadian sovereignty in all areas of our lives. See for an important update and call to action on CETA. Huge pharmaceutical companies such as Bayer hold hundreds of use-patents on NHPs. (Eg: Such patents use the most advanced research and put to rest claims by media and medicine that there is no evidence for NHPs. Big Pharma is running out of drugs, and coming for them. Consider this patent, which outlines a tablet delivery system for several hundred NHPs:

To create a single marketplace, regulations between Trade Agreement member nations must be “harmonized,” and restrictions on NHPs are being attempted in countries around the globe. This is occurring under the auspices of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authority, (ICMRA), and until recently, Health Canada was both chairing and acting as the secretariat for this group. As its regulatory model, ICMRA is using the EU where pharmaceutical companies control all aspects of healthcare.

This is HC’s third attempt to group NHPs with prescription drugs. The first came in 1997 after they were directed to partner with the pharmaceutical industry, and HC immediately came out with the Establishment Licensing Act. Canadians protested vehemently and the Act was stopped. The Standing Committee on Health performed extensive investigations, and in its final report specifically ruled out regulating NHPs as DRUGS. Parliament came out with 53 Recommendations; #1 was to amend the Food and Drugs Act to provide NHPs with a category distinct from either Foods or Drugs.

Yet HC subverted things and placed NHPS as DRUGS anyways. This was a set-up. They tried again to apply prescription drug regulations to NHPs in 2008 with Bill C51. Again, Canadians revolted and again the Bill did not proceed. So now, HC has united the departments for NHPs and OTC pharmaceuticals. As Drugs, NHPs are forced to make approved claims. HC is now using claims they approved as justification for tighter controls.

If these proposals are allowed to go forward, mass suffering will be inflicted on untold numbers of Canadians who rely on NHPs for their health, as their NHPS incrementally disappear.

The time has come for a Natural Health Products Act to protect Canadians’ access and well being, and the groundwork has already been laid. The Committees have investigated. Parliament has already decided what should happen. The department and regulatory system already exists in the Natural Health Products Directorate, and the framework for the new Act has already been written in The Charter of Health Freedom.

As a citizen of Canada, help me protect and make decisions about my own wellbeing that are rightfully mine, and push for a new NHP Act. Preserve my birthright to look after my own health.

Thank you,

Brief to House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

Submitted by Barrie Zwicker

» 2013 Canada Day terrorist plot was a “police-manufactured crime.” – Madam Justice Catherine Bruce of the BC Supreme Court

If ever two dots needed connecting, it’s Bill C-51 and the historic judgment of the BC Supreme Court in the case of the so-called “Canada Day Terror Plot” in 2013 in Victoria.

On July 29, 2016, Madam Justice Catherine Bruce, in a 344-page ruling, struck down the terrorism convictions of John Nuttall and Amanda Korody, impoverished recovering heroin addicts with mental health challenges. She called the so-called “terrorist plot” a “police-manufactured crime.”

The Mounties devoted more than 200 officers and spent millions to aid and abet the crime. A Globe and Mail editorial on August 4, 2016, observed, “The accused pair could not have managed a bomb attack on the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia without the RCMP’s step-by-step guidance.” Some counter-terrorism.

Read moreBrief to House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

A journey into the heart of darkness that is Site C Dam

by Bruce Mason

» It’s absolutely essential to understand as much as you can about Christy Clark’s increasingly controversial Site C Dam. We’re all on the hook for nine billion, at the very least, but most likely for much more. $9,000,000,000+ for the most expensive, unnecessary and destructive project in BC’s history. Our children and grandchildren will also bear the costs down the line of this greedy elite theft from our public commons.

Read moreA journey into the heart of darkness that is Site C Dam

Toad People World Premiere

image toad people

Presented by
the Wilderness Committee

» Wednesday, November 30, 6:30-9PM
At SFU Woodward’s, 149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver
Tickets $10 – order at

What does it take to save a species? A film about hope, community and the struggle to save species at risk in BC. We are thrilled to announce the world premiere of our hotly anticipated documentary film Toad People. We hope you will save the date in your calendars and join us there.

Toad People is an inspiring documentary about communities across BC fighting to protect species at risk, such as the western toad and barn owl. This film isn’t just about people standing up for toads. People living in BC know we have remarkable wildlife no other province boasts: killer whales, grizzly bears, barn owls and badgers.

Many people don’t realize that BC has no standalone endangered species legislation. With the provincial election around the corner, now is the time to change that.

After Vancouver, we’re hitting the road to screen Toad People in interior BC, Vancouver Island and northern BC.

The predator we need to control is us!

photo of David Suzuki

by David Suzuki

• Humans are the world’s top predator. The way we fulfil this role is often mired in controversy, from factory farming to trophy hunting to predator control. The latter is the process governments use to kill carnivores like wolves, coyotes and cougars to stop them from hunting threatened species like caribou – even though human activity is the root cause of caribous’ decline.

Predation is an important natural function. But as the human population has grown, we’ve taken over management of ecosystems once based on mutually beneficial relationships that maintained natural balances. How are we – a “super predator” as the Raincoast Conservation Foundation dubs us – aligning with or verging from natural predation processes that shaped the world?

Read moreThe predator we need to control is us!

Public consultation is a real chance to repeal unpopular legislation

photo of David Christopher

by David Christopher

It’s here. Almost a year into their mandate, the Liberal government has finally launched its long awaited public consultation on Bill C-51, and a broad range of privacy and national security issues.

Speaking at the launch, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said they had already identified a limited number of areas of Bill C-51 they wanted changed and that they wanted to get Canadians’ views on how to deal with the rest of the unpopular legislation.

Bill C-51, readers may recall, is the highly controversial spying bill forced through Parliament by the previous Conservative federal government. Notably, the legislation turns the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) into what the Globe and Mail has called a “secret police force,” with little independent oversight or accountability.

Read morePublic consultation is a real chance to repeal unpopular legislation

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.

Read moreSite C and LNG: a tenuous relationship