A construction contractor for Husky Energy’s multi-billion-dollar Sunrise tar sands/oil sands project, 60 kilometres northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta, is hiring unqualified foreign workers who are putting site safety at risk, according to at least three Canadian-born workers contacted by CBC Vancouver’s Go Public segment. “The errors on that site are repetitive and consistent,” said Ryan Slade, a journeyman electrician who joined Husky in 2013 as an onsite quality control inspector. “Mistakes [are] made over and over.” In one instance, a foreign worker tried to defrost a propane tank with a blowtorch, before others on the site intervened and averted disaster. The overseas employees were brought in under a temporary foreign worker program that had already come under fire for displacing Canadians in search of jobs.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
From the Alps to the Andes, carbon pollution accounted for an estimated 69% of ice loss from the world’s glaciers between 1991 and 2010, according to a study in the journal Science. “Until now, scientists have struggled to quantify the impact of human behaviour on glaciers because the frozen rivers of ice take decades, perhaps centuries, to respond to rising temperatures and shifts in snow and rainfall,” Thomson Reuters reports. The study, led by Ben Marzeion at the University of Innsbruck, “used historical observations of glaciers around the world, except in Antarctica, twinned with computer models to simulate all factors that could explain the retreat. It found that natural variations were not enough on their own, meaning man-made greenhouse gases played an increasing role.”
Last week’s massive flash flood in Burlington, Ontario shows that Canadians must prepare for a “new breed” of storms, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist Dave Phillips told CBC last week. “These 50-year floods are occurring every 10 years, because our climate has changed,” Phillips said. When the Burlington storm hit a week ago, the city received 190 millimetres (more than six inches) of rain—nearly 2½ months’ precipitation—in two hours, with very little on either side of the city and none in nearby Hamilton. “The kind of storm that you saw on Monday, there’s no infrastructure around that could handle that,” Phillips told CBC. “Because of climate change, it could very well be that the performance of our infrastructure is not living up to what it was designed for.”
The Stoney Nakoda First Nation, located about 60 kilometres west of Calgary, Alberta, has joined Huatong Petrochemical Holdings Ltd. of Hong Kong in a “huge” exploration and development venture on 49,000 hectares (121,000 acres) of land on the reserve. Nakoda Oil & Gas Inc. will be the primary operator for the project, with Huatong putting up all the capital. The agreement “will hopefully bring us one step closer to self-sufficiency for our nation and people,” said Bruce Labelle, chief of the Chiniki Nation, one of the Stoney Nakoda nations. “We’ve seen a shift from First Nations being service contractors to now being primary producers,” added J.P. Gladu, President of the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business. (h/t to iPolitics for pointing us to this story)
According to an internal document prepared by Environment Canada, released to CBC environment reporter Margo McDiarmid under Access to Information, Canadians are increasingly likely to question whether oil can be transported safely, whether by pipeline or rail. The government and the oil and gas industry have spent lavishly to promote fossil fuel development, but a poll for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers found that only 51% of us think tar sands/oil sands development is worth the environmental risk; 49% think it isn’t.