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Canada leads world in forest decline, report says

Port of Vancouver- We need to talk

I am seriously concerned about the Port of Vancouver’s plan to export millions of tons of US coal- the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel- through our salmon bearing Fraser River via the Strait of Georgia to Texada Island destined for Asia. Most immediately, this is directly harmful to the health of residents and wildlife of the surrounding communities due to the contents in coal dust: arsenic, lead, mercury, chromium, nickel, selenium and other toxic heavy metals. Once we take into account negative impacts on our strongest local industries - fishing, tourism, agriculture- the proposed gain in jobs is a moot point. Above all, scientists the world over continue to affirm that the Earth cannot afford increased emissions from fossil fuels as we near the ‘tipping point’ of a 2 degree increase in global temperatures. Yet we are expected to believe that slating our Port to be the largest exporter of coal in North America is a good idea? As a Province priding itself on its clean Hydro energy, we are in a unique position to advance research and development of alternative energy sources and act as an example. I am tired of seeing our beautiful nation relegated to a dumping ground for dirty US companies. Our survival cannot be disjointed from the health of our surrounding Pacific Northwest watersheds. Must we wait for a veritable food, industry, or clean water crisis before we understand this? This decision by the Port of Vancouver- a Federal government body mandated to act in our interests- is NOT one to be made without an open debate with the public. I will not let this archaic and flawed project continue to fall beneath the media radar. We need to talk.

A reporter from Petra-Jordanian News Agency raised a concern about Canada’s refusal to adopt the UN Declaration on a nuclear arms free Middle East. And about Canada’s double standard in condoning Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons while condemning Iran for possibly developing nuclear Weapons, Baird responded that Israel was a democracy whereas Iran was not.

An unidentified reporter suggested that Canada sounded more like an autocracy than a democracy

At this point Minister Baird indicated that the Press Conference was over.
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