Mon, 2014-10-06 07:30Emma Gilchrist
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Postmedia Could Soon Own Almost Every English Newspaper in Canada: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Newspaper boxes in Calgary

Postmedia has struck a $316 million deal to buy 175 of Quebecor’s English-language newspapers, specialty publications and digital properties, including the Sun chain of papers, according to a report in the Globe and Mail this morning.

If it passes regulatory hurdles, the deal will mark a step further down the path of media concentration in Canada.

What does this mean for Canadians in practical terms?

In Calgary, for instance, the Calgary Sun would be owned by the same company as the Calgary Herald. In Toronto, the Toronto Sun and 24 Hours would be owned by the same company as the National Post. In Ottawa, the Ottawa Sun would be owned by the same company as the Ottawa Citizen. And in Edmonton, the Edmonton Sun would be owned by the same company as the Edmonton Journal.

It’s Vancouver that takes the cake for media concentration though — Postmedia already owned the Vancouver Sun and The Province, but if the deal goes through it will take over the free daily 24 Hours as well.

Hey, you know what? There has never been a better time to support independent journalism in Canada. Can you give $10 or $20 to DeSmog Canada’s Kickstarter campaign today? We are more than half-way toward our goal of raising $50,000 and have six days to go.

Mon, 2014-10-06 01:10Brendan Montague
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Lib Dem Peer Asked Why Climate Denial Charity Needs Campaign Wing

Baroness Emma Nicholson, the Liberal Democrat peer, must explain why the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has set up a new campaign wing rather than simply comply with the limits set by the Charity Commission for educational charities, it was claimed today. 

Nicholson is well-respected within the Lib Dems, but her views clash with the party’s clear climate change policy. She has extensive personal experience working with charities over many decades. But she is also a trustee of the GWPF, the climate denial think tank founded by the Tory ex-chancellor Lord Lawson

The Lib Dems are today continuing their conference in Glasgow, where they have launched their election campaign for May 2015. Ed Davey, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, has told delegates the party has a proud record on global warming. However, after a controversial coalition with the Tories, the party could get massacred when Britain goes to the polls. 

Sat, 2014-10-04 01:19Brendan Montague
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Cameron, Climate Chameleon: A Tory Conference Special

David Cameron was the champion of climate change action during the 2009 Tory conference as the party appealed to concerned voters ahead of the general election. “If we don't act now, and act quickly, we could face disaster.”

But five years into a coaltion government with a Liberal Democrat party genuinely committed to climate change mitigation his promise to deliver “the greenest government ever” rings hollow. At this year's conference he all but ignored the issue of our age, saying only Britain is “leading and not following on climate change”.

Fri, 2014-10-03 08:57Guest
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Site C Dam Proposal Puts Treaty Commitments to the Test

BC First Nations Site C Zack Embree

This is a guest post by David Suzuki.

B.C. First Nations chiefs recently travelled to Ottawa to urge the federal government to pull the plug on the costliest infrastructure project in the country.

At an estimated $7.9 billion and growing, the proposed Site C Dam on the beautiful Peace River in northeastern B.C. has been criticized for spiralling costs, questions about whether the electricity it would produce is even needed, and concerns about the environmental and social impacts of flooding thousands of hectares of prime farmland, irreplaceable cultural sites and wildlife habitat. The government is expected to make a decision in October.

While in Ottawa, First Nations leaders also reminded politicians that the Peace River Valley is the traditional territory of the Dane-zaa, and Canada has clear obligations to them under the 1899 Treaty 8. Years of case law, as well as the recent Supreme Court of Canada Tsilhqot'in decision, confirm that First Nations must have a say on industrial development on their lands.

Thu, 2014-10-02 23:58Brendan Montague
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Exclusive: Oil and Tobacco Explain Funding of Neoliberalism

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) helped Thatcher's rise to power and when she became prime minister she followed their programme. This success allowed the IEA to fundraise from industry giantsincluding oil and tobacco.

Friedrich von Hayek, the architect of a Thatcherism defined by its the privatisation, tax breaks and strike breaking, would be officially recognised in December 1984. He had already received the Nobel Prize for Economics—but this was the real highlight.  

Hayek was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by the Queen, on the prime minister's recommendation, for “services to the study of economics”.

The audience with the Queen was followed by a jubilant dinner with family and friends at the Institute of Economic Affairs. “I've just had the happiest day of my life,” Hayek said.

Margaret Thatcher in turn thanked Fisher, Harris, and her sponsors at the IEA during its 30th anniversary dinner at Grosvenor House in April 1987.

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