John Cook and Andrew Heintzman
Oil goes into a tailings pond at the Suncor tar sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta

Recently, the first Canadian university joined a growing global movement to divest endowments from fossil fuels. Concordia’s $5-million was largely symbolic; it still has $95-million invested in oil and gas companies. But its decision was another signal that the divestment movement is gaining momentum.

In fact, divestment is creating a significant new challenge for an oil industry that is already fighting hard to maintain its pre-eminence in the world of energy.

Naomi Klein
Bella's death and protest

On July 20, 2013, Bella Laboucan-McLean fell 31 stories off the balcony of a condo tower in downtown Toronto. She had been at a small gathering inside one of the building's many glass boxes. There were five other people in the condo that night.

A resident of a lower-floor heard the sound of her body falling and alerted the police.

Bella was 25 years old, Cree from Northern Alberta.

The police deemed the death "suspicious."

I'll say.


(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, BC) Recent media reports regarding the renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women quote Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt stating "if the guys grow up believing that women have no rights, that's how they are treated" and "It’s a question of people pulling together, addressing the issue, and taking action." More shockingly, Prime Minister Stephen Harper remarked “It isn't high on our radar, to be honest." 

Andrew Nikiforuk
Canada and Oil

What do the plummeting oil prices tell us not only about our near term economic future in Canada, but the political fragility of the world's petro states?

If Canada fully joins the petro state club, as our prime minister and his party desire, is oil's volatility just the cost of doing business, or a threat to our nation's well-being?

The ideal person to ask is Terry Lynn Karl, one of North America's foremost experts on the politics of oil. The Tyee recently caught up with Karl, who teaches at Stanford University and lives in San Francisco.

Bruce Cheadle

OTTAWA - Stephen Harper slammed the door on unilaterally regulating Canada's oil and gas sector Tuesday even as four provincial governments, representing almost 80 per cent of Canada's population, were pledging to go further and faster in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Environment ministers from British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec signed what they're calling a compact in Lima, Peru, where an international climate conference is underway.

Nora Loreto
Quebec demonstration against austerity

On Saturday, November 29, Québecers braved the cold and took to the streets of Québec and Montréal. Buses were sent hundreds of kilometres across the province to the two cities, where workers from all sectors marched against the province’s planed austerity measures.

The march was organized by a coalition of community, student and labour groups and pulled out more people than any multi-city rally since the Maple Spring of 2012.

In Québec City, it was more people at a march than anyone could even remember.

Jenny Uechi
Tar sands

The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, a First Nation whose leadership has spoken out for years against oil sands pollution in northern Alberta, is among six First Nations being taken to court by the federal government for not complying with a new law requiring bands to post audited financial statements online.

The First Nation's spokesperson, Eriel Deranger, called the lawsuit "a kind of bullying" in retaliation for  fighting the oil industry, although the government said this is not the case.

Andrew Nikiforuk
Ann Craft

Ann Craft is a self-described strong willed and caring Irish woman who has been selling real estate in Central Alberta for 19 years.

But now she is getting rather upset.

"I'm more than pissed off. I'm appalled."

Appalled, she says, by the two-year fracking horror story she has lived through. And the consistent failure, she charges, of Alberta's regulatory bodies including Alberta Environment, Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Energy Regulator to do their respective jobs.

"It's mind-boggling."

Samir Gandesha
Night demo in Montreal

Over a year ago, a colleague at the University of Waterloo, Thomas Homer-Dixon, penned a compelling opinion piece for the New York Times in which he addressed, from a Canadian perspective, the debate surrounding the future of the planned Keystone XL Pipeline. If built, this pipeline would transport unprocessed, environmentally toxic Alberta tar sands bitumen to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, Illinois and Oklahoma.

Martin Lukacs
Syncrude at For McMurray

It would be hard to invent a more destructive ritual of national self-punishment. Year after year, we hand oil companies gigantic tracts of pristine land. They skin them of entire ecosystems. They vacuum billions of dollars out of the country. Their oversized power, sunk into lobbying and litigation, upends government law-making.


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