Cannabis now legal North of the border

❝ Canada’s parliament has passed a law legalising the recreational use of marijuana nationwide.

The Cannabis Act passed its final hurdle on Tuesday in a 52-29 vote in the Senate. The bill controls and regulates how the drug can be grown, distributed, and sold.

Canadians will be able to buy and consume cannabis legally as early as this September.

❝ The country is the first in the G7 to legalise the drug’s recreational use.

Overdue in the GOUSA. Our Northern Neighbors press on into the 21st century – while the White House builds internment camps for children and babies. Whatever century Republicans are heading for – it ain’t anything other than backwards.

Fake president wasted everyone’s time this weekend in Canada


Click to enlarge

❝ Just when it seemed that the G7 leaders had eked out a joint communique and avoided an open rift, Donald Trump in a stunning Twitter turnaround, retracted his endorsement. It’s probably better that way

❝ Sometimes it is good to rip off the band-aid. And by backing out of an apparently agreed upon joint G7 communique at the last minute via Twitter and on a plane en route to Singapore President Trump has done just that.

In his tweet he accused Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau of making false statements at his press conference and said he had “instructed our US Reps not to endorse the Communique…If he really does pull out of the agreement it would not be his first withdrawal. In fact, Trump is a master withdrawer. He pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal, the Trans Pacific Partnership, and UNESCO, to name just a few…

But it is probably better that way than trying to paper over a fundamental rift that really can’t be papered over…Because President Trump’s appearance here in Quebec made clear one more time how he feels about America’s closest allies and the post-war international order that Washington was instrumental in building: he could not care less. More than that, he is actively trying to disrupt and undermine it.

With or without the encouragement of rightwing scumbags like Bolton, Miller and Navarro, I was confident Trump would back out of anything positive or constructive he pretended to agree to during the day-and-a-half he spent in Charlevoix. Look at Chancellor Merkel in the photo up top. She looks like she trusts Trump as far as she can throw him uphill into a heavy wind.

RTFA for the gruesome – predictable – results.

Climate change a major issue for forestry planning


Ho/The Canadian Press

❝ Canada loses 20 times more forested land to fires and invasive bugs each year than it does to harvesting wood for industry — and Canada’s lumber association says climate change is making it worse.

❝ Derek Nighbor, president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, says he believes developing plans to address the impacts a warming planet is having on Canada’s forests needs to be a priority.

“We spend a lot of time looking back at history and trends but we (have) got to be looking forward and doing some modelling in terms of the warming climate and how do we stay ahead of this so we can ensure healthy forests for the future,”…

❝ Nighbor said Canadians have to take time to figure out what the forest looks like in the future.

How can we ensure a healthy forest, one that balances ecological imperatives, social imperatives, economic opportunities for the country…”

Or they could follow the American model and put a government in charge that couldn’t care less about environmental causes and effects. Especially if that consideration negatively affected profits – short-term – for corporate owners.

Canadian province puts up $40-million for workers losing jobs during the end of coal

❝ Alberta is putting aside $40 million to help workers losing their jobs as the province transitions away from thermal coal mines and coal-fired power plants over the next decade.

Labour Minister Christina Gray said the money will top up benefits to 75 per cent of a worker’s previous earnings during the time they collect employment insurance…

“Our government is going to provide workers with income support,” Gray said…

❝ “This income would insure that workers are better able to support their families as they transition to new employment training opportunities or retirement,” said Gray…

❝ Vouchers up to $6,000 over two years will help cover the costs of post-secondary education, like tuition, books and fees…

❝ Alberta, under its Climate Leadership Plan, is phasing out coal-fired electricity and moving to renewable and natural-gas generated electricity by 2030, aligning closely with a similar deadline set by the federal government.

Conservatives hate this. The Harper government had no compunction about closing down diminishing, backwards, energy systems. But, provision for retraining workers was out of the question. No doubt other ideologues will also find a creative way to hate change, hate means of helping working folks through qualitative change.

Of course, none of these problems exist in the GOUSA. There is no concept of helping workingclass families from our present government, our fake president.

Solving the Mystery of the White Box That Fell From the Sky

❝ Fifty-five years ago, in the woods outside Moncton, New Brunswick, around 160 miles east of the Maine border, David McPherson Sr. found a very large white box adorned with some very large lenses. It was attached to a parachute, so McPherson thought it might be an American spy camera, possibly launched by the Central Intelligence Agency. The fact that Canadian military tried to take the box from him — before McPherson and his family voluntarily relinquished it in exchange for answers that never came — only added to his suspicions.

McPherson died 18 months ago, never having gotten to the bottom of the mystery. But this week his son, David McPherson Jr., said that his father had been right all along. Declassified CIA documents reveal that the white box was part of a CIA program to send cameras into the sky with balloons to spy on the Soviets. The McPhersons’ box likely hit some wind and went astray…

❝ The CBC helped the McPhersons crack the mystery after running a story Monday about the “thing in the woods.” A rush of tips soon came in, leading the family to some declassified documents on the CIA website, in addition to the Military Communications and Electronics Museum in Kingston, Ontario, both of which had photos of apparatuses that looked like the one they had found. Documents also reveal that the box was likely part of Project Genetrix, a program started under President Dwight D. Eisenhower that used balloons to conduct surveillance over Russia and China, according to the CBC.

It’s unclear where the box is now — maybe in a government warehouse somewhere — but the McPhersons still have some two-dozen photos from its discovery. They also now have closure.

Of course it would have been beyond stupid to think this thing was a weather balloon. Anymore than the replacement – shot down over the Society Union, the U2 spy plane – was doing weather research. The sad bit is that our government simply never feels there is an appropriate time to tell the truth to taxpayers picking up the tab.

Wonder what’s on the shelf labeled ROSWELL?

Happy 150th Birthday

If we borrowed a few politicians from Ottawa, Americans might learn we could do all of these things for the amount of money we currently spend in our federal and state budgets. Starting with Universal Health Care. We could get rid of gerrymandered elections. Can’t guarantee we’d win the Stanley Cup with all American-born players, though. Yet.

Foreign Energy Giants Flee Canada’s Tar Sands

❝ When ConocoPhillips signed a $13.3 billion deal last month to shed many of its Canadian assets, it became the latest in a growing list of foreign firms to sell tar sands holdings to a Canadian company…

All told, five American and European companies have sold nearly $25 billion worth of Canadian oil and gas projects over the past 12 months, the vast majority of them in the tar sands. This week, Reuters reported that Chevron is exploring a sale of its major oil sands stake.

❝ Tar sands projects are among the most expensive sources of oil, and the extraction produces more greenhouse gas emissions than most conventional drilling. With oil prices remaining low, multinationals are shifting investment to higher-return projects like shale in the United States. When Marathon Oil announced the sale of its tar sands projects for $2.5 billion in March, for example, it also highlighted a $1.1 billion purchase in the Permian Basin of New Mexico and Texas. While economics is the leading factor in the sales, some advocates argue that climate change is playing a role, too…

There is one notable exception to the trend: ExxonMobil. The company has been a leader in exploiting the tar sands for half a century, largely through its Canadian affiliate Imperial Oil. Even before the sales, it pumped more oil from Alberta than any foreign company. And despite Exxon’s recent announcement that it had wiped off its books all 3.5 billion barrels of reserves at one of its tar sands projects — a move forced by financial reporting rules — the company has said it remains committed to the resource. That position is now looking increasingly isolated.

I’m really not certain why anyone is carrying tar sands projects forward. It will always require producers to expend more energy per BTU-capability of product and natural gas just keeps getting cheaper to produce. Even our so-called President with his plans to cut environmental requirements for coal can’t beat the lower cost of natgas and renewables like solar.

I guess Canadian companies figure they can always get bailed out by the Canadian government if and when the projects flop. Conservative government or otherwise.