Happening Now

Amid the stalemate of international agreements, it appears as if Canada turned to more bilateral talks on a piece of a free-trade agreement, namely investor protection. Appearing as blips in the news cycle, the Canadian government signed a number of Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPA) – “bilateral agreements aimed at protecting and promoting foreign investment through legally-binding rights and obligations,” In the past couple of years, Canada has signed these agreements with countries such as Benin, Tanzania, and Latvia. In looking at the list of country agreements, it appears as if these deals are mostly set to protect Canadian corporate interests abroad (mostly mining) and provide a legal framework for disputes.

Share
In the last days of summer, Canadians were shocked by the worst environmental catastrophe in Canadian mining history. On August 4 over 17 million cubic meters -- equivalent to about 2000 Olympic size swimming pools -- of toxic mining waste spewed into the Hazeltine River and into Quesnel Lake, which are spawning destinations for Wild Sockeye salmon. The culprit? Nearby Imperial Metals’ in Mount Polley are mining for gold and copper and those tailings pond breached.

Share
“This would not be something that would be a significant concern to us,” responded Jim Karas, a senior officer at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), when asked by a CBS reporter why his agency issued an under-the-table permit allowing oil trains to roll into a Kinder Morgan railyard in Richmond, CA. . The Kinder Morgan facility receives volatile, dangerous Bakken crude oil on 100-car long trains, offloads that oil onto tanker trucks, and ships the oil to local refineries. Neither BAAQMD nor Kinder Morgan notified any stakeholders or community groups, including the BAAQMD’s board of elected officials - of the permit.

Share

stay connected



Latest Tweets