The Thursday Activist Reader is designed to be an online readers’ pick compilation of reading and discussion for a better world. You are invited to join in the discussion as well as in sending a list of one or more articles from your reading that you think would be informative and interesting to Comox Valley activists.


Three Wacky Accounting Numbers for LNG and Shale Gas
By Andrew Nikiforuk
Can you remember the phony lines of Premier Christy Clark promising in 2013 that profits from the LNG industry would pour like manna into a $100-billion provincial prosperity fund.
This article outlines how false and absurd that fanciful claim really is. Trying to create the illusion of a LNG revenue stream, Premier Clark’s new budget takes $100 million, about what the province will bring in through higher Medical Services Plan premiums, and poof we have a dividend in the LNG prosperity fund.
According to Andrew Nikiforuk the claim that the shale gas industry made $767 million last year for B.C. citizens—is just an accounting sleight of hand.
“Most citizens will be surprised to learn that the province actually doesn’t make much money from mining shale gas because it continues to subsidize the industry with among the lowest royalties in North America. …The province didn’t earn $767 million from land sales for shale gas last year. That figure, as government small print admits, refers to ‘deferred cash sales representing one-ninth of the cash from the annual bonus bid auction sales in each of the previous eight years.’”
Under Clark’s plan taxpayers will provide the largely foreign-owned industry approximately $186 million in deep drilling credits and road and infrastructure assistance. The math leaves taxpayers $35 million in the red.
The thing that articles like this tell us over and over is that when the right wing parties claim to be great economic managers, we have to ask, economic managers for what?—clearly not for the interests of the people of BC.
Hey John Horgan, Lead Us to Leap
A new generation of social change activists are eager for bold leadership.
By Christine Boyle, Jessie Hemphill, Jess Housty, Eugene Kung and Edith MacHattie
Looks like another inspiring group #InspireUs is forming to take on the kind of leadership role that The Dogwood Initiative began in the insurrection against the excesses of Harper.
They are calling on NDP leader, John Horgan to not do what the NDP did last time, wait for the governing Liberals to defeat themselves, while telling those who dream for better to lower their expectations. It isn’t enough and you can’t win an election on portraying yourself as a kinder version of an extractivist, austerity party.
According to InsireUs a significant portion of the electorate is yearning for visionary change, and ready to mobilize and vote for it.
Not “one practical step at a time.” A leap to a province based on caring for the earth and each other. A better province is possible, but it needs the right leadership.
I see that John will be in Courtenay Monday, March 7th, 7:00 to 8:30pm at the Affordability Community Roundtable with MEDIA
LOCATION: The Old House Village Hotel, Denman/Hornby Rooms
1730 Riverside Ln, Courtenay, (250) 703-0202

Tuesday, March 8th 10:30 to 11:00am
Coffee with Members
LOCATION: Tim Hortons, 2451 Cliffe Ave, Courtenay

This would be a great time to ask John to InspireUs!

Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig’: Changes to CETA Make it More Corporate-Friendly Deal
‘A PR stunt that does nothing but put a Good Housekeeping seal of approval on an already flawed system’
By Nika Knight
The Canadian government and the European Commission on Monday announced modifications to their controversial pending trade agreement. But it is, indeed, like putting lipstick on a pig. This agreement is about enshrining corporate rights over our democratic governance.
The trade deal known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has drawn heated criticism for its investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, which allow investors to sue governments in private, specially-created courts for passing regulations that hurt corporate profits.
The modifications announced on Monday .still enshrines corporate rights and enables giant European corporations to sue the Canadian government. .
Maude Barlow writes that the “reforms enshrine extra rights for foreign investors that everyone else—including domestic investors—don’t have. They allow foreign corporations to circumvent a country’s own courts, giving them special status to challenge laws that apply equally to everyone through a court system exclusively for their use.”
TransCanada’s Pathetic Keystone XL Lawsuit Could Galvanize Resistance to New Trade Agreements
By Jamie Henn
This is an excellent and current example of how absurdly stilted these “free trade” agreements are. The Canadian pipeline company TransCanad is suing Obama Administration over its decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
“The lawsuit won’t do anything to help get the pipeline built, it’s too late for that. The only purpose is for TransCanada to get compensated for the billions of dollars it wasted on this boondoggle in the first place.”
“TransCanada’s lawsuit is another important reminder of how terrible trade agreements like NAFTA can be for our environment, and the ability of local and national governments to keep fossil fuels in the ground.”