Ottawa South MP David McGuinty has a new role within the Liberal Party caucus in the House of Commons. He’s now the critic for science and technology (picking that up from Grit leadership contender Marc Garneau) as well as the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. That’s because McGuinty had to apologize and resign as natural resources critic for his “go back to Alberta” attack on Conservative MPs last November, accusing them of not taking a national approach on energy issues. Here’s what he said: Read more…
Posts Tagged ‘oilsands’
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is raising the possibility of a “significantly modified” takeover deal between a Chinese oil company and Nexen getting the thumbs up from the Conservative government.
“Our position has been to be generally welcoming of foreign investment,” Harper said Thursday. “We’ve approved many transactions, we have significantly modified some and we have blocked some transactions.”
It was interesting to watch Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty lash out at the oilsands for turning the Canadian currency into a “petro dollar” that has risen so high in value it’s killed the province’s manufacturing sector. McGuinty didn’t always feel that way. In fact, in 2007 his Liberal government put out a document promoting Ontario companies as partners in the oilsands sector, recognizing the national job-creating potential of the industry.
Coast Opportunity Funds (COF) has tried to distance itself from the Northern Gateway debate as many of the aboriginal groups it has funded on the north and central coasts of B.C. line up to oppose the proposed pipeline. Despite one phone call and two emails over two days, we weren’t able to get in touch with COF for this story, in which a critic of foreign funding for anti-oilsands activism drew links between COF funding and aboriginal stances against Northern Gateway. While the story quotes a recipient of COF funding denying such a link, the COF was still concerned enough to contact me three days after the story had run. Here is how COF outlines its concerns in a statement, which you can also see on its website:
Recent media articles have implied that Coast Opportunity Funds has provided $16 million to First Nations to oppose the Northern Gateway Pipeline project. That is absolutely incorrect.
Coast Opportunity Funds, an independent BC organization, is a $120 million fund established in 2007 to support conservation and sustainable economic development projects by the First Nations of the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. The federal and BC governments contributed $60 million to the economic development fund, and philanthropic foundations contributed $60 million to supporting conservation projects.
More than a decade of discussions took place prior to 2007 between First Nations, governments, the forestry industry and conservation groups in the region looking for a way to end years of conflict over logging and meet the interests of all of those groups. The creation of Coast Opportunity Funds was a critical part of the solution, together with the signing of numerous land use planning agreements between First Nations and the BC government.
More than 80 percent of the awards to date (totalling $25 million) have been invested in the government-funded economic development projects, such as tourism businesses, shellfish aquaculture, and forestry. Conservation funding to date has been spent on projects such as creation of resource stewardship institutions.
In making the awards, Coast Funds has no authority to have regard to the First Nations’ stance on matters such as the Northern Gateway Pipeline or any other unrelated issue of that nature, and has never done so.
Merv Child, Chair
Coast Opportunity Funds