Canada’s modest drop in air pollution highlights magnitude of decarbonization challenge

One of the apparent silver linings of the COVID-19 lockdown has been a significant drop in air pollution in cities around the world. Although the effect has been most pronounced in notoriously polluted places like New Delhi, Beijing and Los Angeles, we’ve seen improvements in Canada as well. As I…
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COVID lockdown leads to cleaner air. Could it lower greenhouse gasses too?

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated policy response has caused an unprecedented economic shock in Canada. Millions of workers have lost their jobs, schools and workplaces have closed and everyone who can is staying home. One consequence of this precipitous decline in economic activity has been a reduction in air pollution….
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6 lessons for climate action from Canada’s COVID-19 response

The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented public health crisis that demands immediate and decisive action. Governments around the world are taking extraordinary measures to contain the virus to avoid the dire consequences of an uncontrolled COVID-19 outbreak. Those measures, extraordinary as they are, hold important lessons for the other, bigger…
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AFB2020 as COVID-19 policy response: A plan to protect workers and the public from an unprecedented crisis

Canada and countries across the globe face a daunting challenge with the advent of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a pandemic, as countries the world over try to contain the spread and health authorities race to treat casualties under incredible pressure. These are not…
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Blockades aren’t the crisis. It’s the crumbling legitimacy of Canada’s democracy

Our democratic institutions are in crisis. Their very legitimacy is in question, and Canada’s national leaders appear ill-equipped to respond. The Indigenous re-occupation of Wet’suwet’en land and nationwide actions in support have sparked debate and deliberation about the causes, consequences, complications and solutions. The debate has been emotional and traumatic…
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Teck decision opens the door to renewed conversation about transition

The decision by Vancouver-based Teck Resources, announced on Sunday, to withdraw its application for the Frontier oil sands mine was both unexpected and foreseeable. Unexpected because the decision about whether or not the project would move forward had been framed solely as a federal government judgment, rather than being determined…
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What’s next for the new NAFTA? And what, if anything, can Canadians do about it now?

Implementing legislation for the new Canada­–U.S.–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) is now before the House of Commons. While the U.S. and Mexico have already ratified the deal, our parliamentarians can still examine the 2,000-page text, which will have lasting impacts on many matters far beyond trade. The opposition parties have called for…
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Inconvenience and indifference

Indifference, said Antonio Gramsci, is “the mainspring of history.” By that he meant it is not the active few who determine what comes to pass, for better or worse, but “the absenteeism of the many.” The indifferent masses, he said, “allow the knots to form that in time only a…
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Rescuing Renewable Regina

If you were to hold a public conference—on any issue—it’s reasonable to think that you would want your keynote speaker to agree that the issue exists. That would seem a sensible proposition for most people. So it is absolutely perplexing that the City of Regina decided to invite a well-known…
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