Category: Mainstream Media

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Occupy Hong Kong served with Eviction notice from their Encampment at HSBC HQ

“We’ve never asked for permission from the law, we’ve never asked for permission from the courts, we’ve never asked for permission from HSBC,” said Nin Chan, one of the Occupy activists. “From the very beginning we’ve never recognized these authorities as legitimate.”

While HSBC owns the land, it’s legally designated as a public passageway. The judge ruled that the activists’ use of the space goes beyond the land’s designated use.

Protesters have been given until August 27th to vacate the area around HSBC’s Hong Kong Headquarters, you may or may not have heard about the bank in the news recently for profiting hundreds of millions of dollars in fees  when it “laundered billions of dollars for drug cartels, terrorists and pariah states.”

Aug 13 (Reuters) – HSBC won a legal bid on Monday to have members of the Occupy Hong Kong movement evicted from the open-air plaza beneath the bank’s Asian headquarters, bringing an end to one of the longest-running Occupy demonstrations. 

WALL STREET JOURNAL: The decision by the high court came after HSBC Holdings PLC filed a lawsuit last month against four defendants affiliated with the movement. Occupy protesters have been camping in a designated public space beneath the bank’s Hong Kong headquarters—one of the city’s most recognizable buildings—since Oct. 17. The court ruled that the use of the area is beyond its designated purpose.

NEW YORK TIMES: About a dozen protesters still use a collection of tents erected in an area that is owned by HSBC but is designated as a public passageway. If the protesters have not left by the deadline, 9 p.m. Aug. 27, the next step would be for a court bailiff to decide what, if any, action to take.

Feds met privately with oil execs to discuss ‘communications effort’

By Geoff Dembicki | July 23, 2012

Top federal government policymakers met with several oil industry executives during the summer of 2009 to discuss an oil sands “communications effort”, according to internal documents.

The meeting took place in the downtown Calgary headquarters of Nexen, a leading oil sands producer (which may soon be acquired by a Chinese state-owned company).

“While we understand Government and industry will not always have identical messages,” read briefing notes prepared for then deputy natural resources minister Cassie Doyle, “it is important to ensure that our facts are consistent.”

Doyle appears to have been joined in the “Meeting with Oil Company Executives” by Kevin Lynch, then-Clerk of the Privy Council Office, one of the Prime Minister’s most important advisors.

The list of confirmed and potential industry attendees reads like a who’s who of western Canada’s oil-patch, including executives from Nexen, Suncor, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Syncrude and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).

The meeting’s itinerary and a list of “Points to Register” by deputy minister Doyle were obtained by Greenpeace through an access to information request.

The day before the meeting, CAPP President Dave Collyer wrote to Doyle about her trip to Calgary, explaining that “it would be desireble [sic] to have all of the companies involved in the [oil sands] communications effort represented at this meeting.”

The would “ensure a consistent and aligned approach,” wrote Collyer. That “approach” apparently referred to a government and industry-led campaign that would counter negative public perceptions about Alberta’s so-called “dirty oil.”

“Canada is developing a full-blown case of the ‘resource curse,'” said Greenpeace Canada climate and energy coordinator Keith Stewart in a statement, “where governments put what is good for oil companies ahead of what is good for the nation.”

The internal documents, along with a report summarizing them, were released by the advocacy group as Canada’s premiers meet in Halifax for the annual Council of the Federation talks.

The Tyee has sent a media request to Natural Resources Canada, asking what was discussed at the 2009 meeting, and what the federal government hoped to achieve by developing a “communications effort” with Canada’s oil industry leaders.

Geoff Dembicki reports on energy and climate change issues for The Tyee.

‘Culture of Deviance’ at Enbridge, Finds US Transport Safety Board

‘Corrosion’ of safety culture ‘throughout the Enbridge organization’ led to Kalamazoo disaster.

By Andrew Nikiforuk,

US National Transportation Safety Board today found Calgary-based Enbridge ‘took advantage of weak regulations’ leading to worst ever US pipeline spill.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded that Calgary-based Enbridge “took advantage of weak regulations,” tolerated a “culture of deviance” on safety and failed to detect and properly respond to the largest and costliest oil pipeline spill in U.S. history.

NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman also noted that Enbridge’s poor handling of the rupture reminded her of the Keystone Cops and that the company’s pipeline safety management lacked integrity.

Another NTSB board member Robert Sumalt said that the accident demonstrated a “corrosion” of the safety culture “throughout the Enbridge organization.”

Added Sumalt: “If you are not learning from previous events, you don’t have a safety culture.”

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The Robocall Scandal’s Vancouver Link

As Elections Canada investigation continues, complaints of calls in two ridings unfold.

Robocall protest shot

By Tom Sandborn, Yesterday,

Vancouver rally against dubious robocalls on March 3. Photo bychrisyakimov via Your BC: The Tyee’s Photo Pool.

The robocall scandal that recently rocked Canadian politics may have Vancouver connections. At least one voter, Andrew Schofield in Vancouver South, says he received a taped call shortly before the election that falsely claimed his polling station had been moved, The Tyee has learned.

“At first I didn’t pay much attention to the call,” Schofield said. “It was a taped voice announcing itself as coming from Elections Canada and saying my polling station had been moved. Since we always get calls like this twice, once for me and once for Suzanne, I expected another call for her and that she would keep better track of it than I would.”

(“Suzanne” is Schofield’s spouse, Dr. Suzanne Smythe. Full disclosure: This reporter has known Smythe and Schofield for several decades.)

“But after the election, when I heard news coverage of the robocalls events across Canada, I realized that the examples played on the radio sounded just like my call, which I knew by then had not been accurate. So we decided to report what looked like an attempt to keep us from voting.”

Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray also claims that during the election her campaign staff received calls from voters complaining about late night and rude callers who identified themselves as working for the Liberals.

Elections Canada continues to investigate more than 1,100 complaints about voter suppression calls during the last election, all of which are being “looked at,” spokesperson John Enright told The Tyee.

‘No complaints’ against contractor: Young

After Smythe filed a report about the call online, she received an email apparently from the winner of the Vancouver South election, Conservative Wai Young, reading in part:

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Majority of oil sands ownership and profits are foreign

Forest Ethics Advocacy analysis on oil sands ownership

• Companies with foreign headquarters

Statoil: 99.83 per cent foreign ownership

Mocal Energy: 99.33 per cent foreign ownership

Murphy Oil: 99.23 per cent foreign ownership

Royal Dutch Shell: 98.49 per cent foreign ownership

Devon Energy: 98.44 per cent foreign ownership

ConocoPhillips: 97.83 per cent foreign ownership

• Companies with Canadian headquarters

Petrobank Energy Resources: 94.8 per cent foreign ownership

Husky Energy: 90.9 per cent foreign ownership

MEG Energy: 89.1 per cent foreign ownership

Imperial Oil: 88.9 per cent foreign ownership

Nexen: 69.9 per cent foreign ownership

Canadian Natural Resources Limited: 58.8 per cent foreign ownership

Suncor Energy: 56.8 per cent foreign ownership

Canadian Oil Sands:56.8 per cent foreign ownership

Cenovus: 54.7 per cent foreign ownership

Source: Forest Ethics Advocacy

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Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – A 1%’s wetdream

See the parallel legal structure being devised in extreme secrecy for foreign investing corporations to circumvent(or demand unlimited compensation) on any environmental, labour or regulatory laws now and in the future of any member country.

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EARN Activists Urge BC Gov to Restore Grant’s Law

The BC Federation of Labour’s Employee Action & Rights Network (EARN) is asking late night workers and members of the public for support to restore Grant’s Law.

Click to watch the video


Robocalls and the petrostate

This article has just come out online and in Focus Magazine. It provides some direct links and evidence between electoral fraud, Manning Centre for Democracy and oil. Please distribute to your circles.

Robocalls and the petrostate

By Briony Penn, April 2012 Focus Magazine

Links between election fraud and oil interests are so thick, it appears bitumen itself is lubricating the connections.

Harper & Flaherty use Canada Revenue Agency to Attack Charity Status of Environmental Groups crying foul & Opposing Oilsands never ‘a charitable act,’ senator Doug Finley says

The Harper government’s budget tossed roses to Western Canada’s natural resource-based economy on Thursday and lobbed a political grenade at the environmental movement.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced a long-promised blueprint to streamline the environmental review process, but a starkly different message was sent to environmental groups that are waging an intense battle against the oilsands sector.

The budget commits $8 million over the next two years to help the Canadian Revenue Agency target registered charities that the government believes are too overtly political.

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