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Archive for June, 2019

June 15th, 2019 by admin

Only 1 in 2 Canadians believe climate change is a serious issue: survey

Climate change is on the world’s radar as a significant issue, but a new survey has found a large difference in levels of concern depending which nation you ask.

A Pew Research Centre survey of 40 nations found a global median of 54 per cent consider climate change a very serious problem.

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Break that down by nation and you’ll find a wild range: China came in at just 18 per cent agreeing, while an overwhelming 86 per cent of Brazil respondents agreed. Canada fell in the middle, with 51 per cent agreeing global climate change is a very serious problem.

READ MORE: Reality check: Is Antarctic ice sheet melting or growing?

By region, Latin America and Africa were found to be most concerned about climate change.

Nations with the highest carbon emissions per capita —; including Canada, Australia and Russia —; were found to be less concerned about climate change.

“The U.S., with the highest per-capita carbon emissions of the nations surveyed, is among the least concerned about climate change and its potential impact,” the survey stated.

“Publics in Africa, Latin America and Asia, many of which have very low emissions per capita, are frequently the most concerned about the negative effects of climate change.”

CO2 Emissions World Map | FindTheData

When the effects of climate change are in question, 56 per cent Canadian respondents agreed it’s already causing harm, with a further 25 per cent agreeing it will in the next few years.

As for those harmful affects, 43 per cent of Canadian respondents said drought is their top concern, followed by severe weather (24 per cent), rising sea levels (15 per cent) and extreme heat (nine per cent).

READ MORE: Persian Gulf could see unbearable 60-degree heat by 2071, study claims

Of all respondents, 78 per cent support the limiting of greenhouse gas emissions as part of an international agreement; 84 per cent of Canadian respondents agreed.

Canadian women were more likely to agree (81 per cent) than men (66 per cent) that personal changes should be made to reduce the effects of climate change. Overall 73 per cent of Canadians agreed a major life style changed is warranted, a touch higher than the global median of 67 per cent of survey respondents.

READ MORE: Trudeau takes more inclusive approach than Harper to climate change summit

New Democrat supporters (86 per cent) are more likely than Liberal (75 per cent) and Conservative (57 per cent) supporters to agree that individuals will need to make major changes in their daily lives to combat climate change.

The survey was conducted between March and May 2015, and based on a total of 45,435 face-to-face and telephone interviews spread across the 40 countries.

©2015

June 15th, 2019 by admin

Defence bill OK’d by House still blocks Obama from closing Guantanamo Bay

WASHINGTON – The House overwhelmingly backed a $607 billion defence bill that would bar President Barack Obama from moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. prisons, setting up a showdown with Congress over his 2008 campaign pledge to close the Cuban facility.

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The long-running dispute heated up on Capitol Hill on Thursday just hours after the House passed the bill, 370-58, and sent it to the Senate, which plans a vote early next week. Three Republican senators from Kansas, Colorado and South Carolina – states where the administration has explored housing Guantanamo terror suspects – held a news conference to make it clear they will fight to prevent moving them to U.S. soil.

Closing the prison was a priority of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and he promised during his first days in office that he would eventually shutter the facility, which he argues is costly and gives extremists a recruiting tool.

The administration is finalizing a plan on closing the prison, which houses 112 detainees, but hasn’t said when it will share it with Congress.

READ MORE: Former Guantanamo Bay detainee arrested in Toronto, held as maximum security inmate

Republicans and some Democrats in Congress have blocked Obama’s effort for years.

Sen. Pat Roberts on Wednesday placed a hold on Obama’s nominee to be the next Army secretary to prevent the president from trying to bypass Congress by using his executive authorities to close the prison.

“This administration has continually gone around the Congress and tried to figure out which button to push to irritate Congress the most,” said Roberts, whose state includes Fort Leavenworth. “Well he sure as hell has pushed my button.

“As I have said for years and years, we are not going to have terrorists from Gitmo come to Fort Leavenworth, the intellectual centre of the Army, or any other location in the United States.”

Roberts accused Obama of executive “overreach” and said he would work to continue to withhold congressional funds to move detainees to the United States, which currently is against the law.

As he spoke, Roberts got visibly angry. “Why do we even have a Congress,” he shouted, “if the president can issue an executive order on anything and, in this particular case, endanger our national security?”

Sen. Tim Scott, who visited Guantanamo two weeks ago, said the military prison is a perfect site because it’s hours away from Havana and is surrounded by mountains, water and desert.

“To consider a domestic location is, in my opinion, the worst decision for America’s national security,” said Scott, whose state is home to the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, another prospective site for detainees.

READ MORE: Lawyer says freed Guantanamo prisoner wants independent UK inquiry

Sen. Cory Gardner said the facility being considered to house Guantanamo detainees in his state is a closed state prison that would cost millions to retrofit. He said the administration has violated current law that bans taxpayer money from being used to “assist in the transfer” of detainees.

“It’s hard for me to believe that you can send a team of experts to analyze where you’re going to send detainees to fulfil a campaign promise if you haven’t spent any money,” he said.

Roberts said the White House plan has not yet been presented in any detail to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

At a separate news conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she is upset that the Republicans have prevented Obama from closing Guantanamo, “which he set out to do, and which he had a plan to do – and he does have a plan to do now.”

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest hinted that the president might use his executive authority to close the prison. Obama wants to work with Congress to close Guantanamo, but “if Congress continues to refuse,” the president will explore all other options, Earnest said.

READ MORE: Guantanamo defendant in 9-11 case says he may want to be own lawyer

When asked again Thursday about the prospect of executive action to shut the prison, Earnest said the administration continues to believe that Congress should remove the obstacles it has imposed to closing it. He said that closing the prison makes national security and fiscal sense because spending to hold prisoners at Guantanamo far exceeds what the U.S. spends to detain and incarcerate terrorists on U.S. soil.

Earnest said there was no veto threat but that the president still must review the bill that passed on Thursday.

Obama vetoed the original defence policy bill over a larger spending issue. But that dispute was resolved, and Obama on Monday signed a bipartisan budget bill that avoids a catastrophic U.S. default and puts off the next round of fighting over federal spending and debt until after next year’s presidential and congressional elections.

©2015

June 15th, 2019 by admin

IIO not commenting on alleged suspension of high-ranking staff member

The Independent Investigations Office isn’t commenting after a report one of their members was suspended following an embarrassing Halloween party incident.

Clinton Sadlemyer is the organization’s Director of Legal Services, and served as Acting Chief Civilian Director for several months this year.

But former police officer Leo Knight of Prime Time Crime says he was suspended after wearing a Guy Fawkes mask at an October 31 office party.

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The reason? The IIO’s highest-profile investigation this year involved an RCMP officer fatally shooting James McIntyre, a 48-year-old Dawson Creek resident – and McIntyre was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask when he was shot.

READ MORE: Hacktivist group ‘Anonymous’ threatens retaliation for Dawson Creek shooting

Knight says complaints were quickly made by several staff members, and Sadlemyer was suspended for two weeks without pay.

The IIO and provincial government wouldn’t confirm the report, but did admit an incident of some sort occurred at the party.

“We are aware of the reports related to an incident at the IIO involving a member of the staff. As this is an HR matter, I can’t speak to the details. What I can say is that we expect members of the public service – wherever they work – to adhere to the standards of conduct,” said a Ministry of Justice spokesperson.

“I’m confident that Mr. Rosenthal and the IIO has addressed this issue sufficiently and that this isn’t reflective of any larger concerns in the organization.”

Marten Youssef, Manager of Strategic Communications for the IO, said they were also aware of the report.

“IIO staff are members of the BC public service and are expected to adhere to the highest standard of conduct. In this instance, steps have been taken to reinforce those standards,” he wrote in a statement.

“This is a personnel matter and as such, we are not able to comment further.”

June 15th, 2019 by admin

Busy beavers working to beat winter

LETHBRIDGE – Coreen Putman’s been with Lethbridge’s Helen Schuler Nature Centre for over a decade and this fall she’s noticed something odd.

“It does feel a little bit later than usual for this amount of construction activity to be happening,” said Putman, the Nature Centre’s coordinator. “The beavers have been really hard at work, trying to get some trees out into the river.”

Trees felled, just off the Oldman river. It’s the work of some very determined beavers and the timing of it is quite unusual.

ChangSha Night Net

“We usually see this type of activity around the end of the summer and in the early part of the fall,” Putman said.

For the busy beavers the unseasonably warm temperatures couldn’t have come at a better time. They’re way behind schedule, building what Putman believes is their winter homes. But the question remains, why have they started construction so late?

“I would take a guess that something probably happened in the area where they were at before,” Putman said. “So that caused them to have to get up and move, and they won’t survive the winter without a lodge.”

So many felled trees in one area can pull at the heartstrings. But naturalists, like Coreen, believe Beavers are an essential part of the environment.

“They’re helping actually to slow the river down, they’re helping to improve water quality, they’re helping to provide fish habitat, they’re helping to provide habitat for birds,” Putman said.

But the survival of these beavers might come down to the weather.

“It’s been nice, and they forecast a pretty nice winter,” Putman said. “So it’s hard to say, but in nature that happens. Not every individual survives through every season, through every year.”

Warm temperatures in the coming days should give the beavers a better chance to finish their home.

June 15th, 2019 by admin

Premier courts Edmonton business audience

EDMONTON – For the first time, Rachel Notley gave a State of the Province speech. It comes in the midst of the economic downturn and questions about future.

The premier spoke to an audience of 2,000 at the Edmonton Expo Centre Thursday afternoon.

“This government has reached into the business community very deeply in recent weeks and months,” said Janet Riopel of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce after the speech.

ChangSha Night Net

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READ MORE: Notley talks entrepreneurism, diversification in State of the Province address 

The premier touched on several previously talked about issues including defending the recent deficit budget, and the need to work with the business community to diversify the province’s economy.

“Alberta is dealing with serious challenges,” said Notely.

“There are a lot of different tools we can use to promote diversification,” she added, “and support businesses as they move forward on them.”

The premier also talked about her support of the Energy East pipeline.

READ MORE: TransCanada nixes export terminal in Quebec for Energy East pipeline 

But questions remain as business leaders await the report from the climate change advisory panel.  There are some questions about whether the two initiatives can work hand-in-hand.

“We can do that in a collaborative way, showing some leadership with industry, while still ensuring they have a business plan that goes forward in a responsible way,” said the premier.

“We very much are supportive of things that will continue to build and job create,” added Riopel. “We need that.”

“It’s a very critical time,” Riopel stressed.

The premier received a warm welcome for her speech.  It was in contrast to the more muted response from the Calgary chamber last month.

Edmonton business leaders note the city’s economy has remained more robust than elsewhere in the province, but there’s worry the negative impacts will deepen next year.

“Our business community if very fragile right now,” said Riopel.

©2015