The Importance of Mapping Fossil Fuel Companies

industry

The Corporate Mapping Project in Canada tries to connect the dots between corporations, organizations, and governmental bodies in regards to the oil and gas industry. Despite all evidence that the tar sands are horrible for the planet the Canadian taxpayer continues to subsidize the fossil fuel industry. Why?

That the answer the mapping project looks to help investigate. By showing the connections between corporate and political players we can expose anything from sketchy polices to blatant corruption. This project is great for researchers and economist trying to understand why Canada props up a dying (and lethal) industry.

You can see their list of the top 50 companies in terms of power and influence in Canada’s oil and gas industry.

We focus on “mapping” how power and influence play out in the oil, gas and coal industries of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. We will also map the wider connections that link Western Canada’s fossil fuel sector to other sectors of the economy (both national and global) and to other parts of society (governments and other public institutions, think tanks and lobby groups, etc).

Our mapping efforts are focused in four key areas:

  1. How are the people and companies that control fossil-fuel corporations organized as a network, and how does that network connect with other sectors of the Canadian and global economy? That is, how is economic power organized in and around the fossil-fuel sector?

  2. How does that economic power reach into political and cultural life, through elite networks, funding relationships, lobbying and mass-media advertising and messaging? What are the implications of such corporate influence for politics and society?

  3. How is corporate power wielded at ground level, from fossil-fuel extraction and transport right through to final consumption? If we follow a barrel of bitumen from its source to the end user, how does it affect the communities and environments all along the way? How and why do certain links along these commodity chains become flashpoints of intense political struggle, as we have seen particularly with pipeline projects?

  4. How can we build capacity for citizen monitoring of corporate power and influence, while expanding the space for democratic discussion?

Read more.

Teck Halts Work on Tarsands Proposal

industry

Canada is waking up to the reality of the climate crisis, those ringing the alarms includes a diverse group from the Wet’suwet’en Nation to Greenpeace. Now a large fossil fuel company, Teck Resources Ltd., has decided to not move ahead with an environment-destroying tarsands project partly due to the fact that planet is facing catastrophic climate change. The company CEO released a statement stating that the Canadian government needs to clarify its climate policy (essentially asking for regulation) and that the economic benefit of fossil fuels isn’t as clear as it used to be. The pressure that people put on Teck over the last years has proven effective, thanks to everyone that helped fight Teck’s initial plan!

Hopefully this helps empower the Wet’suwet’en pipeline protests. Protesting works.

Lindsay wrote that customers want policies that reconcile resource development and climate change — something he said the region has yet to achieve, but he did not clarify if the region he was referring to was Alberta or Canada.

“Unfortunately, the growing debate around this issue has placed Frontier and our company squarely at the nexus of much broader issues that need to be resolved. In that context, it is now evident that there is no constructive path forward for the project,” he wrote.

Energy consultant Greg Stringham, who has worked for the industry, government and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said tight economics and increasing risks put Teck at the centre of debate around energy projects.

Read more.

Canada to Update Digital Privacy Laws, Hold Companies Accountable for Breaches

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Last year Canadians witnessed too many data breaches of their data and the federal government is reacting. Large Canadian corporations didn’t do enough to protect their databases against attackers and as a result personal data of Canadians is now in the hands of criminals. Canada will now follow the lead of Europe and other jurisdictions by holding corporations financially responsible for any future breaches. This should help force companies to respect their customers.

“It will be significant and meaningful to make it very clear that privacy is important. Compensation, of course, is one aspect of it,” said Bains, adding that the government also wants “to demonstrate to businesses very clearly that there are going to be significant penalties for non-compliance with the law. That’s really my primary goal.”

Statistics Canada says that about 57 per cent of Canadians online reported experiencing a cyber security incident in 2018.

Ryan Berger, a privacy lawyer with Lawson Lundell in Vancouver, said legislating compensation could get private companies to start taking privacy more seriously.

“It will incentivize organizations … to take steps to protect that information and ensure that, for instance, health information is encrypted,” he said.

“So right now, there aren’t the sorts of financial implications for them if they fail to do that.”

Read more.

It’s Time to Topple the Voting System

Modern democracy is under a lot of scrutiny this century as we’ve seen increased corruption by established political parties and a manipulation of bureaucratic processes to benefit the elite. The rise populism is a reaction to a perception that the electoral system isn’t reflecting the people, the system isn’t actually democratic in many people’s eyes. Let’s change that. Right now on Kickstarter you can back a project that’s trying to revive Canada’s electoral system by replacing first past the post (FPP) with a better system which represents all people. The broken FPP has already been replaced in some municipalities and that’s just the start.

But wait – there is hope! There actually HAS been successful experiments of voting reform in Canada, and the movement is GROWING. In 2018, London city council became the FIRST government in Canada to ditch first-past-the-post. Kingston and Cambridge Ontario also held successful referendums to reform their voting systems in time for the 2022 municipal elections.

YOU can make a difference. We’ve toppled three dominoes, but there are 444 municipalities in Ontario. Who’s next?

Read more.

Canadians: Go Vote!

vote sign
vote!

People in Hong Kong are currently in the streets fighting for a small amount of democracy, and similar struggles exist around the world. In too many places the concept of democracy is under attack and if you live in a country in which democracy is strong it still requires you to show up. Today, Canadians get to vote in their democracy.

If you’re a Canadian then you should get out there and vote today (if you haven’t already). Most political parties are trying to make the future better while one party is actively trying to make the country a worse place. Readers of this blog know that there are issues in this world that need to be addressed now. I encourage you to vote with growing inequity and the climate crisis in mind.

Here are the voting hours for each time zone. All times are local.

Newfoundland — 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Atlantic — 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Eastern — 9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Central — 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Mountain — 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Pacific — 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Green PAC’s list of ecologically conscious candidates.
Evidence for Democracy survey results of parties.
CBC election day – what you need to know

Remember democracy doesn’t end at the ballot box, it merely begins there.

Go vote!

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