Roundup: Site C reluctance and costs

The BC government announced yesterday that they were going to reluctantly go ahead with the Site C dam project, which disappointed a great many people, not the least of which was the provincial NDP government’s Green Party allies (but not, apparently, to the point of withdrawing confidence, because they still have to get their self-interested electoral reform referendum up and running, and they certainly don’t want to jeopardise that). Oh, and true to form, it’ll cost even more than originally anticipated. Because of course it will. And while I can’t speak to some of the issues with some of the First Nations in the area, some of those cost issues were explored, particularly in this analysis, I also found the arguments of Blair King, who deals with contaminated sites for a living, to be particularly instructive on the issue, both in terms of the costs of remediating the work already done on the site, as well as the fact that other alternatives are simply not going to replace what the dam can do, particularly in the issues of night use for electric vehicles and the seasonal disparity of solar generation with usage – and certainly not for the same costs.

Good reads:

  • In last night’s by-elections, the Liberals held their two ridings plus took one from the Conservatives in South Surrey–White Rock. The Conservatives held just one.
  • Finance ministers agreed to a 75-25 provincial-federal split of cannabis tax revenues, with a federal cap; it will all be revisited in two years.
  • Ethics Commissioner nominee Mario Dion was named, while outgoing Dawson promises that she’s working “diligently” to get ongoing investigations completed.
  • NAFTA talks in Washington this week look to be focused on cleaning up the text, as well as fact-finding, but pushing off any major decisions.
  • As the bill to expunge the records of persecuted LGBT Canadians speeds through, researchers are concerned that destruction of records will be detrimental.
  • It looks like they will be adding a third interpretation booth in the West Block’s future House of Commons, and they are looking to hire Indigenous interpreters.
  • Here’s a look at MPs discussing potential problems with the Commons’ harassment policy in light of the Bezan/Romanado imbroglio.
  • As the Clerk of the Privy Council looks for best practices in stabilizing the Phoenix pay system, here’s a look at how different departments and agencies were affected.
  • Liberal Senator Percy Downe wants the PBO to take CRA to court in order to get the information necessary to calculate the “tax gap.”
  • The Privacy Commissioner is investigating the Uber hack that stole Canadian consumers’ data.
  • While the federal government looks to phase out coal generation plants, Canadian pension funds continue to invest in them globally.
  • Conservative MP David Sweet opens up about his daughter’s suicide.
  • That starving polar bear photo you’re all sharing? Turns out that climate change isn’t the cause of its condition (and you’re being manipulated).
  • Stephen Gordon looks at how racial animosity may explain the American adherence to bad tax policy and why they haven’t embraced European-style redistribution.
  • While Chantal Hébert looks into the causes of the whole “bonjour-hi” issue, Martin Patriquin notes that language politics in Quebec are showing diminishing returns.

Odds and ends:

Kady O’Malley’s Process Nerd column looks at the procedure involved in determining when the Commons rises for the season.

Meanwhile, rumour has it the Senate will rise this week instead of last week.