Canada is Warming at Twice the Rate of the Globe, Says New Report

April 20, 2019

For The Real News, I speak to Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada about a new study showing that Canada is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the world, and that northern Canada is warming at three times the global rate.

As Keith states: “It’s kind of a standard joke that oh, in Canada it would be nice if it was a little warmer. The problem is the rate of change. We haven’t historically– well, in the geological record climate has changed a lot over time– but we’re trying to pack change that usually take 50,000 to 100,000 years into 50 years. Because we’re burning fossil fuels and sort of increasing the greenhouse effect trapping heat, which it then causes a whole bunch of other changes. You might think oh, a little bit warmer that would be nice, but you’re also changing rainfall patterns. You’re going to have drought in some places. You are going to have more wildfires, the kinds we’ve seen in B.C. and Alberta the last couple of years where people literally couldn’t breathe. Walking outside in Vancouver was like breathing eight packs, smoking eight pack of cigarettes. In urban areas, one of the warnings in the report is we’re going to see even more flooding. In particular, the kind of flash flooding which in one incident here in Toronto back in 2013, we saw $960 million worth of damage in a couple of hours. We saw street cars under water. People had to be rescued from the GO train by boat. These kinds of severe impacts– the heat waves, the droughts, the wildfires, the flooding– these cause enormous damage to our economy, they cause enormous damage to our health, and we’re only seeing the thin edge of the wedge here.”

My discussion with Keith can be seen and listened to here:

Canada is Warming at Twice the Rate of the Globe, Says New Report

Federal Court Allows Independent Jewish Voices To Intervene in Wine Labelling Case and Dismisses Intervention Motion of B’nai Birth Canada’s League of Human Rights

April 19, 2019 

 

As I have previously reported on this website, I am legal counsel to Dr. David Kattenburg in a judicial review application pending in the Federal Court of Canada.

Dr. Kattenburg is Jewish and is the child of Holocaust survivors. In 2017, he complained to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) about wines produced in Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements and sold in Canada bearing “Product of Israel” labels.

Initially, after an exhaustive examination of Dr. Kattenburg’s complaint, the CFIA agreed with Dr. Kattenburg that the country-of-origin labels on those settlement wines were false and therefore violated Canadian law. The CFIA swiftly reversed itself, however, after it came under intense pressure from the Israel lobby and from staunchly pro-Israel members of Canada’s Parliament, particularly Liberal MP Michael Levitt.

After the Complaints and Appeals Office of the CFIA agreed with the CFIA’s decision to reverse itself, Dr. Kattenburg retained me to initiate a judicial review application. That application is scheduled to be heard in Toronto on May 21 and 22, 2019.

This past week, there were significant developments in Dr. Kattenburg’s case. Continue Reading ›

Ontario’s Right-Wing Ford Government Advances Unconstitutional Bill To Silence Critics of Israel

April 18, 2019

With the support of Ontario’s right-wing Premier, Doug Ford, a staunchly pro-Israel member of Ontario’s legislature is pushing a private member’s bill designed to silence critics of Israel.

The proposed law, Bill 84, is a frontal assault on the rights to free speech, free assembly and free association.

It cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny. Continue Reading ›

A Divided Liberal Party Cannot Stand – Except When It Comes To Israel

April 3, 2019

Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expelled from his Liberal caucus former Justice Minister, Judy Wilson-Raybould, and former President of the Treasury Board, Dr. Jane Philpott.

Weeks ago, Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Ms. Philpott resigned from Trudeau’s cabinet as a result of attempts by the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the criminal prosecution of Canadian engineering giant, SNC-Lavalin. As I have explained previously, the SNC-Lavalin scandal likely constitutes the worst case of corporate corruption in Canadian history.

In announcing the expulsion of these two former cabinet members from the Liberal caucus, Trudeau declared “Our political opponents win when Liberals are divided. We can’t afford to make that mistake. Canadians are counting on us.”

Oh really?

Less than one year ago, Israeli snipers shot Canadian doctor Tarek Loubani in both legs. Minutes later, an Israeli sniper murdered Mousa Abu Hassanein, a Palestinian medic who was a member of Dr. Loubani’s emergency team. These atrocities were committed when Dr. Loubani and his team were in the field for the purpose of tending to wounded, unarmed civilians in Gaza’s Great March of Return.

The circumstances in which Dr. Loubani and his medic were shot left little doubt that the snipers who shot them understood that they were medical personnel who posed no threat to any Israeli. On June 13, 2018, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report in which it concluded that Israeli forces appeared to have committed war crimes in Gaza. Among numerous other Israeli atrocities – including the killing and wounding of Palestinian journalists and children – HRW cited the shooting of Dr. Loubani and the killing of Mr. Abu Hassanein in its report.

After the Canadian media widely reported the shooting of Dr. Loubani and the murder of Mr. Abu Hassanein, Prime Minister Trudeau issued an unprecedented statement condemning the conduct of Israeli forces:

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This was a bridge too far for Liberal MPs Michael Levitt and Anthony Housefather. Levitt and Housefather are arguably Parliament’s most fanatical supporters of Israel. As The Globe and Mail reported at the time, Levitt and Housefather “broke with Mr. Trudeau’s criticism of Israel” and issued their own statement. The Globe and Mail identified no other Liberal MPs who “broke with” the Prime Minister. Levitt and Housefather blamed the violence on Hamas, and did so despite the complete absence of evidence that Hamas was in any way responsible for the shooting of Dr. Loubani and the murder of Mr. Abu Hassanein:

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Two months later, Housefather sent a letter to Quebec’s largest English weekly newspaper in which he gloated about his support for Israel’s criminal regime and professed to have been “disappointed” by his Prime Minister’s entirely justified condemnation of Israeli atrocities in Gaza.

Subsequently, Conservative Senator Linda From – another Canadian politician whose support for Israel knows no bounds – authored an op-ed in the Canadian Jewish News in which she pontificated that “MP Housefather and MP Levitt felt the need to distance themselves from their own government by releasing a statement at odds with their Foreign Minister and their Prime Minister.”

So how did Prime Minister Trudeau react to Levitt’s act of disobedience?

Trudeau promoted him.

On September 24, 2018, Levitt proudly announced that he had been named as the Chair of the powerful House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

Meanwhile, in a bitter irony, Housefather chaired the recent hearings held by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights into the PMO’s political interference in the SNC-Lavalin prosecution. The fact that an MP who relentlessly defends an apartheid regime would chair the “Justice and Human Rights Committee” is shocking enough. Even worse, Housefather voted with his four Liberal colleagues on the House committee to end the SNC-Lavalin hearings prematurely, over the vociferous objections of opposition parties.

It is often said by Israel’s apologists that Israel and its defenders are subject to a different standard. That is entirely true, but what those same apologists are not telling us is that Israel and its defenders are held to a far lower standard than just about everyone else.

 

How Big Tech Helped Big Oil Automate the Climate Crisis

For The Real News, I speak with Gizmodo reporter Brian Merchant about the merging interests of Big Tech and Big Oil.

As Brian explains, major tech companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft are helping fossil fuel companies to extract more oil and gas at lower cost.

These companies increasingly profit from our dependence on fossil fuels even as they claim to be leaders in the battle against climate change.

My discussion with Brian can be watched here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/how-big-tech-has-helped-big-oil-automate-the-climate-crisis

Toxic Coal Ash Afflicts Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic

During my recent visit to Puerto Rico, I spoke for The Real News with environmental attorney Ruth Santiago about Puerto Rico’s extreme dependence on fossil fuels and the mountains of toxic coal ash being produced by American energy giant AES Corp.

Our discussion can be watched and listened to here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/toxic-coal-ash-afflicts-puerto-rico-and-the-dominican-republic

 

Puerto Rico Faces a Flood of Fracked Gas in Wake of Hurricane Maria

I recently travelled to Puerto Rico to examine the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

While there, I learned that, faced by an existential climate crisis, the Trump administration is exploiting the island’s severe energy challenges to promote the interests of America’s fracking and LNG industries.

This is my report for The Real News:

 

My thanks to my Real News colleagues Steve Horn and Oscar Leon for their excellent work on this report.