National Round Table on the Environment


This week the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy basically recommended Canadian taxpayers should fall on their swords for the sake of winning a Pyrrhic victory over global warming.

The government advisory panel called for Ottawa to impose a carbon tax on Canadians and/or establish a “cap and trade” carbon emissions trading scheme for industry (which has been something of a fiasco in Europe) to achieve “deep” greenhouse gas (GHG) emission cuts.

In reality, the NRTEE is telling us to do two contradictory things: Act in concert with the rest of the world to combat global warming and, regardless of what the world does, act unilaterally now.

The NRTEE acknowledges that: “With respect to environmental risk, Canada’s share of global emissions and hence its contribution to the stock of atmospheric carbon is low, and if action is not taken globally, Canada’s efforts alone could do little to stabilize atmospheric concentrations.”

Plus: “We believe that the most critical assumption that the NRTEE has made in its work, particularly in our modelling, is that whatever policy framework Canada puts into place, it is comparable to its competitors and trade partners, predominantly the United States … If our major trading partners, particularly the United States, do not implement comparable policies within a reasonable time frame, the economic risk of the deep domestic reductions investigated in this report rises.”

fctAdTag(“bigbox”,MyGenericTagVar,1);

Indeed, the NRTEE paper, Getting to 2050: Canada’s Transition to a Low-emission Future warns 10 times that its proposals won’t damage our economy only if the U.S. and our other major trading partners are simultaneously implementing similar measures. Its optimistic economic modelling is based on that.

And yet bizarrely, it also concludes, without qualification, that: “It is not the NRTEE’s view that any of this should be justification for not taking action now to either reduce emissions now, or put in place the most effective policy framework for deep, long-term reductions in the future.” Excuse us?

Canada, which like many countries will miss its Kyoto targets, accounts for 2.1% of global GHG emissions.

The U.S., our largest trading partner, responsible for 20.6% of emissions, has refused to ratify Kyoto since the Clinton administration. What would the NRTEE have us do? Arm-wrestle the U.S. into submission?

Speculation the next American president will ratify Kyoto is merely that, speculation.

In 1997, when GHG guru Al Gore was Bill Clinton’s vice-president, Democratic and Republican members of the Senate, which must ratify Kyoto, voted 95-0 against, arguing it was detrimental to American interests because developing nations weren’t required to cut emissions. Today the developing world, led by China, is balking at accepting cuts even after Kyoto expires in 2012.

As things now stand, the NRTEE is effectively recommending Canadians pay significantly more for carbon (meaning for virtually everything) for decades to come, at the risk of severely damaging our economy, especially in Alberta and Ontario, for what would be a futile gesture to combat global warming even if successful, and even if countries responsible for up to 10 times our emissions do nothing.

But if everyone else suddenly reverses course inspired by our example, we should be okay.

That’s not a policy. It’s insanity.

The Harper government requested this report. It should thank the NRTEE — and shelve it.


• You can e-mail Lorrie Goldstein at lorrie.goldstein@sunmedia.ca

• Have a letter for the editor? E-mail it to torsun.editor@sunmedia.caTorontoSun.com – Lorrie Goldstein – Only one place for this report

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “National Round Table on the Environment

  1. CO2 is not the primary cause of global warming-not even close. Al Gore is a lying scum-bag whose father was inconveniently not mentioned as being in oil but heroically cut his tobacco investments after Al’s sister dies of lung cancer. Instead of carbon taxes a special taxes on all profits of corporations whose business contributes to CO2 emissions would end this Hoax.

  2. Foreword
    Dear reader. This is a work in progress. All are welcome to build on this document.
    The purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate that under NRTEE, Canada has not acted in the interest of the environment and people worldwide. Many more examples can be cited.

    We are indebted to Elaine Dewar, author of the Cloak of Green. She deserves credit for raising the issue-why was no environmental assessment of the impacts of NAFTA ever performed?

    “Deep integration claims to scratch the Canadian itch for greater economic interdependence and the U.S. itch for homeland security. The proposal continues in the free trade tradition to deny that an environmental crisis is underway in Canada and globally -a crisis exacerbated by trade liberalization.
    …As side agreement… the North American Agreement on Environmental
    Co-operation (NAAEC) and the establishment of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)… has been an unmitigated failure at moderating the impact of NAFTA on the environment…”. Sierra Club of Canada Oct-2003
    http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/programs/sustainable-economy/trade-environment/free-trade-addiction.html

    Background

    The National Round Table on the Environment and Economy advocates on behalf of Canada’s corporate interests and influences government spending, domestic and foreign policy under the guise of commitment to sustainable development..

    In 1983, Prime Minister Gro Brundtland of Norway, was asked by the United Nations
    General Assembly to chair a World Commission on Environment and Development. The mandate of the Commission was to formulate a ‘global agenda for change’ that would lead to the implementation of sustainable development around the world.

    In 1983, Maurice Strong was appointed to the U.N.’s World Commission on Environment and Development, headed by Brundtland. Strong had been Secretary General of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.
    In 1986, Strong proposed that a world conference on the environment to be held on the 20th anniversary of the Stockholm Conference of 1972. Strong was latter made Secretary General of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and made NRTEE member in 1994 in preparation for the 1995 G7 Summit.
    In response to the Brundtland Report, in October 1986 Canadian Environment Ministers (CCREM) established a National Task Force on the Environment and Economy that included
    Canada’s environment ministers, senior executive officers from Canadian industry, representatives from environmental organizations and the academic community. The task force recommended the creating of Round Tables at the national, provincial, territorial and municipal level. The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) was announced by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in October, 1988 and held its first meeting in June, 1989.

    The Ontario Round Table was established in October 1988.
    In 1994, with the passing of the NRTEE Act, NRTEE was established as a corporation, reporting directly to the Prime Minister.
    “By definition, if a business does not continuously renew its plant equipment and the resource base on which its profit depends, it simply runs down. Sustainable development is simply applying those criteria to include the entire resource base, the planet..” Maurice Strong-NRTEE First annual Report

    NRTEE – Annual Review June 1991 -the second annual report

    “Few countries have embraced the round table process with the same vigour or commitment as has Canada.”

    “CIDA, the Canadian International Development Agency, has established sustainable development and environmental considerations as key criteria in development assistance decisions; it regularly undertakes environmental impact assessments of projects it is considering for funding. Canada is also influencing the World Bank to consider sustainable development practices in its lending practices.”

    “The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development is a critical milestone in the international approach to sustainable development. So important is the conference to dealing with the critical issues of poverty, desertification, hunger and the continuing damage to the earth’s resources that the Canadian government, as well as NRTEE, is focusing its major international efforts to coincide with a 1992 deadline”.

    “One of the means by which Canada supports sustainable development objectives internationally is through the bilateral trade and assistance agreements which it negotiates with other countries. The National Round Table has analyzed 66 bilateral agreements signed in 1989 and 1990 to determine the extent to which sustainable development issues are identified. Many agreements do not contain any mention of sustainable development and, even in agreements that do, specific measures are neither agreed upon nor promoted.”

    “The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Brazil ( UNCED) will shape the global strategy for sustainable development over the next few decades. To this end the National Round Table has made preparations for the UNCED one of its key priorities.”

    “Critical to entrenching sustainable development attitudes and practices in Canada is the education of the nation’s youth. To this end, the National Round Table has been working with a number of distinguished partners to promote the establishment of a Sustainable Development Education Program ( SDEP) designed to provide young people with the knowledge and skills necessary to make sustainable choices. This community-linked education strategy will assist Canadians to put into action the principles of sustainable development in primary and secondary schools. The projected launching date is for September with Jack MacLeod, National Round Table member and CEO of Shell
    Canada, serving as chair of the partnership. At this time, the project will also be in a hand-off position with an established board and organization of its own.”

    “Social marketing techniques have long demonstrated success in changing attitudes and behaviours. In Canada, notable successes have been achieved by such social marketing programs as the antismoking campaign, the drinking etc.”

    “A private sector company, WHYNOT Productions, has developed a series of five special television programs designed to fill the information gap surrounding the concept of sustainable development and how it affects various sectors of the economy.”

    “The round table is a tool which may be used at any level of society to promote dialogue, achieve consensus on issues and develop partnerships for change. For these reasons, there is a considerable level of interest at the municipal and local level in the concept ofround tables. To promote the idea of communities developing their own round tables, the National Round Table distributed more than 10,000 Municipal Round Table Kits across Canada last year.”

    Central America: “The New Brunswick Environment and Development Group delivers training workshops to local community services clubs, church groups and h&b school clubs interested in sustainable development and environmental protection and restoration. The group also maintains working relationships with groups in Central America which are interested in similar issues and with which concerns, skills and work are shared.”
    NRTEE – Annual Review 1991-1992 -the third annual report –
    “Our foremost commitment throughout the year was preparation for the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development – the “earth summit” – which culminated in the meeting of heads of state in Rio de Janeiro in June.”
    “Canada’s being the first signatory of the Convention on Biodiversity was noticed around the world, and may have been a crucial step in the recruitment of other signatories.”

    “The concept of sovereignty has been sacrosanct since the settling of North America. In Canada it carries over in modified form from the federal level into the provincial. But exclusivity works against the Interdependence that is so much a part of ecological realities.
    Since the time of Thomas Hobbes, promotion of individual rights has been the touchstone of progressive thinking. However the touchstone in the ecological revolution will be collective rights. For instance the enhancement of diversity, by definition, involves collective rights because it deals with producing benefits not for specific Individuals but for all people.
    Looked at another way, under the system of common law in English Canada, what is
    not prohibited is permitted. Consequently, all regulation aimed at ecological sustainability
    restricts what otherwise would be permitted and Immediately IS, again by definition, an infringement of private rights – rights to property or to freedom of action of individuals or companies. Tension between Individual and collective rights will not end. But sustainability will be slowed unless there are clearly enunciated mutual targets……”

    http://www.nrtee-trnee.ca **********************************************8

    The Institute for Sustainable Development

    Jim MacNeill, Director Sustainable Development Institute for Research on Public Policy was appointed to NRTEE from the onset.

    The Institute for Sustainable Development was established in 1990 and “is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization with a diverse team of more than 150 people located in more than 30 countries.” It was funded by the Canadian government to the tune of “$23,250,000 taxpayers’ dollars,” Dewar says. The U.S. government (USAID) also supplies funds to the Institute.

    Dewar’s extensive research reveals how many NGOs are simply front groups for government interest. The practice was perfected in the work-up to the 1992 Earth Summit that produced the Framework Convention on Climate Change. Elizabeth May, for example, was appointed to the Canadian delegation to the preparatory meetings for the 1992 Rio Summit. Although she represented Cultural Survival Canada, Sierra Club of Canada, and the Canadian Environmental Network, her expenses were not paid by her constituency, but by the Canadian Industrial Development Agency (CIDA). Moreover, the Canadian government “put aside $1 million to spend over the next three years on NGO activities related to the Rio Summit,” according to Dewar. The Center for Our Common Future received $250,000 directly from the Canadian government between 1990 and 1992. http://www.sovereignty.net.

    Three other NGOs that are recognized as representing the environmental constituency should also be renamed PGOs (Private Governmental Organizations): the International Union for the Conservation of Nature; the World Wide Fund for Nature; and the World Resources Institute. In addition to the millions of dollars these PGOs receive in grants from national governments, they are, in fact, an integral part of the United Nations system. In the April, 1996 report of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), these three PGOs were listed as “Executing Agency,” or “Collaborating Organization” for 29 grants totaling $350 million. http://www.sovereignty.net.

    As Strong organized the Rio Conference, he utilized his vast network to ensure the outcome. His office bought Bella Abzug’s airplane tickets to attend a preparatory meeting in Geneva. He asked her to schedule a special conference in Miami for women through her recently formed NGO called Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO). Another NGO formed by Abzug in 1981, the Women’s USA Fund, had been almost dormant until 1991, when the NGO received nearly $1 million. He arranged for the creation of the Business Council on Sustainable Development.. The new organization was immediately accredited to the Rio Conference and designated to advise Strong who “needed people with their feet on the ground to do a reality check on these U.N. guys.” The Canadian Participatory Committee for UNCED (CPCU) was entirely funded by the Canadian government and consisted of carefully selected individuals who represented various NGOs. http://www.sovereignty.net

    The practice started by Strong at the 1972 conference, of cloaking the agenda in the perception of public grassroots support from NGOs, culminated in Rio in 1992, with the largest collection of NGOs ever assembled in support of Agenda 21. Only those NGOs that were “accredited” by the U.N. Conference were permitted to attend. And only those which had demonstrated support for the agenda were funded. Dewar calls these NGOs — PGOs — Private Government Organizations. http://www.sovereignty.net

    Elizabeth May

    In 1986, Elizabeth May became Senior Policy Advisor to Tom McMillan, Environment Minister in the Brian Mulroney cabinet. In 1989, May became Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada. She became vice chair of NRTEE and a member of the board of the International Institute of Sustainable Development.

    Elaine Dewar in her book, Cloak of Green writes she first ran into May when she (May) was a member of the Canadian government delegation to the preparatory meeting in Nairobi for the upcoming Rio summit on the environment. Since May was national director of the Sierra Club, as well as executive director of Cultural Survival Canada, Dewar found this rather puzzling. After a little further questioning Dewar came to the conclusion that May had become an NGO interface with government. “In fact,” wrote Dewar, ” May was both government and opposition, depending on which hat she put on. She could represent the government one day, she could attack it another, she could sign letters from several organizations, she could become a groundswell of public opinion.
    “She was like a node on an information network. Information, or a position on an issue, could be generated anywhere — in an embassy in Brazil, in a meeting room in Washington, in a boardroom in Switzerland — and, if fed to May, end up touted in the pages of the Globe and Mail.” http://philallt.ca/?p=246 Allt also wrote that May had said that she was going to invite Brian Mulroney to join the Greens.

    SNC-Lavalin
    Dee Parkinson-Marcoux, a director of SNC-Lavalin was appointed to NRTEE by PM Martin back in 2005.

    Several Canadian companies, including Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, have been involved in various aspects of the Three Gorges endeavour, many of them backed by taxpayer money through Export Development Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency.
    ***The massive Three Gorges Dam megaproject on the Yangtze River may stand as the most dramatic example of Western business aiding a quantum leap in China’s economic development, without much thought for the human toll. But, as the project steamed ahead in the mid-1990s, and “Team Canada” trade missions trudged across the Chinese countryside promoting closer ties, few stopped to consider the forced evacuation of roughly two million people living in low-lying areas to be flooded by the dam.
    To this day, public criticism of the Three Gorges development is prohibited in China, and the project stands as a black mark on Canada’s human rights record abroad, says Patricia Adams, executive director of Probe International, an environmental group based in Toronto. “Three Gorges Dam is a spectacular case because it’s so big and has been so notorious. But it’s just one of many, many projects, and I think it shows the difficulty of dealing with a dictatorship,” she says. “The principle should be, ‘do no harm.’ You have to be willing to walk away from a project if it violates your principles. China will change and it is changing, but when you’re dealing with a government that mistreats its citizens, it’s just as likely to mistreat companies as well.”-Western Companies Sell Their Souls for the Massive Chinese Market Maclean’s Magazine Feb 20, 2006

    http://www.canadianencyclopedia.ca/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=M1ARTM0012917

    “Human Rights Watch/Asia says foreign investors should avoid any involvement with the Three Gorges dam project across the Yangtze river in China until the Chinese government can provide verifiable guarantees that the rights of the more than one million people scheduled to be relocated will be protected.” Human Rights Watch/Asia, February 1995

    The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funded the $14 million environmental study for the dam.

    Canada gave China $139 million in development assistance in 1995-96.

    Fortis Inc.
    Angus Bruneau, Chairman, Board of Directors Fortis Inc. is a member of NRTEE.
    He has recently retired as a Director of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

    Fortis is the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada, serving almost 2,000,000 gas and electric customers. Its regulated holdings include a natural gas utility in British Columbia and electric utilities in 5 Canadian provinces and 3 Caribbean countries. It owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets across Canada and in Belize and upper New York State. It also owns hotels & commercial real estate in Canada.

    Dateline- January 29, 2004*** -A high court in London today narrowly decided not to halt construction on a controversial dam in Central America. The lawsuit was brought by
    a coalition of environmental groups and business owners in Belize. The group challenged the government of Belize’s hasty approval of the 50-metre hydro-electric dam in the rainforests of Belize. The majority acknowledged that the dam would flood an area scientists say is “one of the most biologically rich and diverse regions remaining in Central America,” home to endangered species such as the jaguar, tapir, and the last 200 remaining scarlet macaw in Belize. Nonetheless, in an unusual split decision, the three Law Lords in the majority, (Lords Hoffman, Rodger and Sir Leggatt), deferred to the political decision of the government of Belize to allow the Canadian-backed project to go forward.

    A strongly worded dissent found that the dam approval broke Belizean law and should be overturned. The dissent, written by Lord Walker and joined by Lord Steyn, criticized Fortis and the government of Belize for consistently failing to disclose to the courts important information about the project, and said that the Belizean Government official in charge of the environmental review of the project was not credible. It also underscored the flaws in the geological assessment of the dam site, which could cause the dam to leak or become unstable.

    The environmental assessment of the project repeatedly claimed that the dam would be built on solid granite. Expert geological assessments, which Fortis and the government withheld from the court for nearly two years, showed that there is no granite at the site, which is made up of more fragile sandstones and shales. “Today’s decision confirms that Fortis and the government have not been truthful to the public or to the courts. The fundamental errors about the geology of the dam site could mean the difference between life and death for the 12,000 people living downstream from the dam.” said Tony Garel, Chairman of the Belize Alliance of Conservation NGO’s.

    Canada’s foreign aid agency, CIDA, was also implicated by today’s decision. CIDA paid more than $500,000 Cdn for the Environmental Assessment of the project, which the dissent characterized as “so flawed by important errors” as to be unacceptable.
    Elizabeth May, Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada and a longtime opponent of the dam project said, “The Canadian government should be embarrassed by the court’s findings. This report did not meet the standards acceptable in Belize, or the standards that Canadian taxpayers would expect.”

    The clearing of the dam site began last June by a Chinese state company which had won the contract to build the dam.

    This is the first environmental case in the history of the Privy Council, the final court of appeal for Belize and many countries in the British Commonwealth.***
    http://www.oneworld.ca/external/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sierraclub.ca%2Fnational%2Fmedia%2Fitem.shtml%3Fx%3D565

    Glen Murray, NTREE Chair
    ***Back in 2004 Glen Murray, then Mayor of Winnipeg ran for the Liberals in the federal election. He had been part of Prime Minister Paul Martin’s strategy team on new funding for cities. He’s one of several star candidates recruited by Martin to boost Liberal fortunes in the west. Murrays was defeated in his attempt to become a member of the Canadian House of Commons by Conservative Steven Fletcher.***

    ***Murray was appointed by Prime Minister Paul Martin as chair of a National Round Table on the Environment and Economy in March 2005, despite opposition from other political parties and a non-binding vote against his appointment in the House of Commons. He now lives in Toronto where he lectures at the University of Toronto’s Massey College.***

    “That, due to the fact Mr. Glen Murray has insufficient experience in environment related fields or study, this committee calls on the Prime Minister to withdraw Mr. Murray’s appointment to the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy.”-Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development- FOURTH REPORT

    http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/cmte/CommitteePublication.aspx?SourceId=106004

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/print/CTVNews/1083874927699_79284127/?hub=Canada&subhub=PrintStory

    Jack MacLeod, former National Round Table member and CEO of Shell

    A Question for Jack MacLeod, National Round Table member and CEO of Shell:
    Jack, did you or anyone at Shell intercede on behalf of Ken Saro-Wiwa?

    On November 10, 1995, after a mock trial, environmental and social activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others were hung by Nigeria’s military government. Saro-Wiwa had called for sound environmental practices and compensation for the devastation of tribal lands by oil companies.

    “Ken Saro-Wiwa was hanged today for speaking out against the environmental damage to the Niger Delta caused by Shell Oil through its 37 years of drilling in the region. Ken Saro Wiwa was campaigning for what Greenpeace considers the most basic of human rights: the right for clean air, land and water. His only crime was his success in bringing his cause to international attention,” said Thilo Bode, Executive Director of Greenpeace International.
    http://archive.greenpeace.org/comms/ken/murder.html

    Sources:
    http://www.nrtee-trnee.ca/
    http://www.sovereignty.net/p/sd/strong.html
    http://www.sovereignty.net/p/clim/wc1-97.htm
    (Rev. 2)

  3. Foreword
    Dear reader. This is a work in progress. All are welcome to build on this document.
    The purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate that under NRTEE, Canada has not acted in the interest of environment and of the people of Canada and worldwide. Many more examples can be cited.

    We are indebted to Elaine Dewar, author of the Cloak of Green. She deserves credit for raising the issue-why was no environmental assessment of the impacts of NAFTA ever performed?

    “Deep integration claims to scratch the Canadian itch for greater economic interdependence and the U.S. itch for homeland security. The proposal continues in the free trade tradition to deny that an environmental crisis is underway in Canada and globally -a crisis exacerbated by trade liberalization.
    …As side agreement… the North American Agreement on Environmental
    Co-operation (NAAEC) and the establishment of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)… has been an unmitigated failure at moderating the impact of NAFTA on the environment…”. Sierra Club of Canada Oct-2003
    http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/programs/sustainable-economy/trade-environment/free-trade-addiction.html

    Background

    The National Round Table on the Environment and Economy advocates on behalf of Canada’s corporate interests and influences government spending, domestic and foreign policy under the guise of commitment to sustainable development..

    In 1983, Prime Minister Gro Brundtland of Norway, was asked by the United Nations
    General Assembly to chair a World Commission on Environment and Development. The mandate of the Commission was to formulate a ‘global agenda for change’ that would lead to the implementation of sustainable development around the world.

    In 1983, Maurice Strong was appointed to the U.N.’s World Commission on Environment and Development, headed by Brundtland. Strong had been Secretary General of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.
    In 1986, Strong proposed that a world conference on the environment to be held on the 20th anniversary of the Stockholm Conference of 1972. Strong was latter made Secretary General of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
    In response to the Brundtland Report, in October 1986 Canadian Environment Ministers (CCREM) established a National Task Force on the Environment and Economy that included
    Canada’s environment ministers, senior executive officers from Canadian industry, representatives from environmental organizations and the academic community. The task force recommended the creating of Round Tables at the national, provincial, territorial and municipal level. The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) was announced by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in October, 1988 and held its first meeting in June, 1989.

    The Ontario Round Table was established in October 1988.
    In 1994, with the passing of the NRTEE Act, NRTEE was established as a corporation, reporting directly to the Prime Minister.
    “By definition, if a business does not continuously renew its plant equipment and the resource base on which its profit depends, it simply runs down. Sustainable development is simply applying those criteria to include the entire resource base, the planet..” Maurice Strong-NRTEE First annual Report

    NRTEE – Annual Review June 1991 -the second annual report

    “Few countries have embraced the round table process with the same vigour or commitment as has Canada.”

    “CIDA, the Canadian International Development Agency, has established sustainable development and environmental considerations as key criteria in development assistance decisions; it regularly undertakes environmental impact assessments of projects it is considering for funding. Canada is also influencing the World Bank to consider sustainable development practices in its lending practices.”

    “The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development is a critical milestone in the international approach to sustainable development. So important is the conference to dealing with the critical issues of poverty, desertification, hunger and the continuing damage to the earth’s resources that the Canadian government, as well as NRTEE, is focusing its major international efforts to coincide with a 1992 deadline”.

    “One of the means by which Canada supports sustainable development objectives internationally is through the bilateral trade and assistance agreements which it negotiates with other countries. The National Round Table has analyzed 66 bilateral agreements signed in 1989 and 1990 to determine the extent to which sustainable development issues are identified. Many agreements do not contain any mention of sustainable development and, even in agreements that do, specific measures are neither agreed upon nor promoted.”

    “The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Brazil ( UNCED) will shape the global strategy for sustainable development over the next few decades. To this end the National Round Table has made preparations for the UNCED one of its key priorities.”

    “Critical to entrenching sustainable development attitudes and practices in Canada is the education of the nation’s youth. To this end, the National Round Table has been working with a number of distinguished partners to promote the establishment of a Sustainable Development Education Program ( SDEP) designed to provide young people with the knowledge and skills necessary to make sustainable choices. This community-linked education strategy will assist Canadians to put into action the principles of sustainable development in primary and secondary schools. The projected launching date is for September with Jack MacLeod, National Round Table member and CEO of Shell
    Canada, serving as chair of the partnership. At this time, the project will also be in a hand-off position with an established board and organization of its own.”

    “Social marketing techniques have long demonstrated success in changing attitudes and behaviours. In Canada, notable successes have been achieved by such social marketing programs as the antismoking campaign, the drinking etc.”

    “A private sector company, WHYNOT Productions, has developed a series of five special television programs designed to fill the information gap surrounding the concept of sustainable development and how it affects various sectors of the economy.”

    “The round table is a tool which may be used at any level of society to promote dialogue, achieve consensus on issues and develop partnerships for change. For these reasons, there is a considerable level of interest at the municipal and local level in the concept ofround tables. To promote the idea of communities developing their own round tables, the National Round Table distributed more than 10,000 Municipal Round Table Kits across Canada last year.”

    Central America: “The New Brunswick Environment and Development Group delivers training workshops to local community services clubs, church groups and h&b school clubs interested in sustainable development and environmental protection and restoration. The group also maintains working relationships with groups in Central America which are interested in similar issues and with which concerns, skills and work are shared.”
    NRTEE – Annual Review 1991-1992 -the third annual report –
    “Our foremost commitment throughout the year was preparation for the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development – the “earth summit” – which culminated in the meeting of heads of state in Rio de Janeiro in June.”
    “Canada’s being the first signatory of the Convention on Biodiversity was noticed around the world, and may have been a crucial step in the recruitment of other signatories.”

    “The concept of sovereignty has been sacrosanct since the settling of North America. In Canada it carries over in modified form from the federal level into the provincial. But exclusivity works against the Interdependence that is so much a part of ecological realities.
    Since the time of Thomas Hobbes, promotion of individual rights has been the touchstone of progressive thinking. However the touchstone in the ecological revolution will be collective rights. For instance the enhancement of diversity, by definition, involves collective rights because it deals with producing benefits not for specific Individuals but for all people.
    Looked at another way, under the system of common law in English Canada, what is
    not prohibited is permitted. Consequently, all regulation aimed at ecological sustainability
    restricts what otherwise would be permitted and Immediately IS, again by definition, an infringement of private rights – rights to property or to freedom of action of individuals or companies. Tension between Individual and collective rights will not end. But sustainability will be slowed unless there are clearly enunciated mutual targets……”

    http://www.nrtee-trnee.ca **********************************************8

    The Institute for Sustainable Development

    Jim MacNeill, Director Sustainable Development Institute for Research on Public Policy was appointed to NRTEE from the onset.

    The Institute for Sustainable Development was established in 1990 and “is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization with a diverse team of more than 150 people located in more than 30 countries.” It was funded by the Canadian government to the tune of “$23,250,000 taxpayers’ dollars,” Dewar says. The U.S. government (USAID) also supplies funds to the Institute.

    Dewar’s extensive research reveals how many NGOs are simply front groups for government interest. The practice was perfected in the work-up to the 1992 Earth Summit that produced the Framework Convention on Climate Change. Elizabeth May, for example, was appointed to the Canadian delegation to the preparatory meetings for the 1992 Rio Summit. Although she represented Cultural Survival Canada, Sierra Club of Canada, and the Canadian Environmental Network, her expenses were not paid by her constituency, but by the Canadian Industrial Development Agency (CIDA). Moreover, the Canadian government “put aside $1 million to spend over the next three years on NGO activities related to the Rio Summit,” according to Dewar. The Center for Our Common Future received $250,000 directly from the Canadian government between 1990 and 1992. http://www.sovereignty.net.

    Three other NGOs that are recognized as representing the environmental constituency should also be renamed PGOs (Private Governmental Organizations): the International Union for the Conservation of Nature; the World Wide Fund for Nature; and the World Resources Institute. In addition to the millions of dollars these PGOs receive in grants from national governments, they are, in fact, an integral part of the United Nations system. In the April, 1996 report of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), these three PGOs were listed as “Executing Agency,” or “Collaborating Organization” for 29 grants totaling $350 million. http://www.sovereignty.net.

    As Strong organized the Rio Conference, he utilized his vast network to ensure the outcome. His office bought Bella Abzug’s airplane tickets to attend a preparatory meeting in Geneva. He asked her to schedule a special conference in Miami for women through her recently formed NGO called Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO). Another NGO formed by Abzug in 1981, the Women’s USA Fund, had been almost dormant until 1991, when the NGO received nearly $1 million. He arranged for the creation of the Business Council on Sustainable Development.. The new organization was immediately accredited to the Rio Conference and designated to advise Strong who “needed people with their feet on the ground to do a reality check on these U.N. guys.” The Canadian Participatory Committee for UNCED (CPCU) was entirely funded by the Canadian government and consisted of carefully selected individuals who represented various NGOs. http://www.sovereignty.net

    The practice started by Strong at the 1972 conference, of cloaking the agenda in the perception of public grassroots support from NGOs, culminated in Rio in 1992, with the largest collection of NGOs ever assembled in support of Agenda 21. Only those NGOs that were “accredited” by the U.N. Conference were permitted to attend. And only those which had demonstrated support for the agenda were funded. Dewar calls these NGOs — PGOs — Private Government Organizations. http://www.sovereignty.net

    Elizabeth May
    May was an active assistant to Tom Macmillan, Mulroney’s Minister of Environment..
    Elaine Dewar in her book, Cloak of Green writes she first ran into May when she (May) was a member of the Canadian government delegation to the preparatory meeting in Nairobi for the upcoming Rio summit on the environment. Since May was national director of the Sierra Club, as well as executive director of Cultural Survival Canada, Dewar found this rather puzzling. After a little further questioning Dewar came to the conclusion that May had become an NGO interface with government. “In fact,” wrote Dewar, ” May was both government and opposition, depending on which hat she put on. She could represent the government one day, she could attack it another, she could sign letters from several organizations, she could become a groundswell of public opinion.
    “She was like a node on an information network. Information, or a position on an issue, could be generated anywhere — in an embassy in Brazil, in a meeting room in Washington, in a boardroom in Switzerland — and, if fed to May, end up touted in the pages of the Globe and Mail.” http://philallt.ca/?p=246 Allt also wrote that May had said that she was going to invite Brian Mulroney to join the Greens.

    SNC-Lavalin
    Dee Parkinson-Marcoux, a director of SNC-Lavalin was appointed to NRTEE by PM Martin back in 2005.

    Several Canadian companies, including Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, have been involved in various aspects of the Three Gorges endeavour, many of them backed by taxpayer money through Export Development Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency.
    ***The massive Three Gorges Dam megaproject on the Yangtze River may stand as the most dramatic example of Western business aiding a quantum leap in China’s economic development, without much thought for the human toll. But, as the project steamed ahead in the mid-1990s, and “Team Canada” trade missions trudged across the Chinese countryside promoting closer ties, few stopped to consider the forced evacuation of roughly two million people living in low-lying areas to be flooded by the dam.
    To this day, public criticism of the Three Gorges development is prohibited in China, and the project stands as a black mark on Canada’s human rights record abroad, says Patricia Adams, executive director of Probe International, an environmental group based in Toronto. “Three Gorges Dam is a spectacular case because it’s so big and has been so notorious. But it’s just one of many, many projects, and I think it shows the difficulty of dealing with a dictatorship,” she says. “The principle should be, ‘do no harm.’ You have to be willing to walk away from a project if it violates your principles. China will change and it is changing, but when you’re dealing with a government that mistreats its citizens, it’s just as likely to mistreat companies as well.”-Western Companies Sell Their Souls for the Massive Chinese Market Maclean’s Magazine Feb 20, 2006

    http://www.canadianencyclopedia.ca/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=M1ARTM0012917

    “Human Rights Watch/Asia says foreign investors should avoid any involvement with the Three Gorges dam project across the Yangtze river in China until the Chinese government can provide verifiable guarantees that the rights of the more than one million people scheduled to be relocated will be protected.” Human Rights Watch/Asia, February 1995

    The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funded the $14 million environmental study for the dam.

    Canada gave China $139 million in development assistance in 1995-96.

    Fortis Inc.
    Angus Bruneau, Chairman, Board of Directors Fortis Inc. is a member of NRTEE.
    He has recently retired as a Director of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

    Fortis is the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada, serving almost 2,000,000 gas and electric customers. Its regulated holdings include a natural gas utility in British Columbia and electric utilities in 5 Canadian provinces and 3 Caribbean countries. It owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets across Canada and in Belize and upper New York State. It also owns hotels & commercial real estate in Canada.

    Dateline- January 29, 2004*** -A high court in London today narrowly decided not to halt construction on a controversial dam in Central America. The lawsuit was brought by
    a coalition of environmental groups and business owners in Belize. The group challenged the government of Belize’s hasty approval of the 50-metre hydro-electric dam in the rainforests of Belize. The majority acknowledged that the dam would flood an area scientists say is “one of the most biologically rich and diverse regions remaining in Central America,” home to endangered species such as the jaguar, tapir, and the last 200 remaining scarlet macaw in Belize. Nonetheless, in an unusual split decision, the three Law Lords in the majority, (Lords Hoffman, Rodger and Sir Leggatt), deferred to the political decision of the government of Belize to allow the Canadian-backed project to go forward.

    A strongly worded dissent found that the dam approval broke Belizean law and should be overturned. The dissent, written by Lord Walker and joined by Lord Steyn, criticized Fortis and the government of Belize for consistently failing to disclose to the courts important information about the project, and said that the Belizean Government official in charge of the environmental review of the project was not credible. It also underscored the flaws in the geological assessment of the dam site, which could cause the dam to leak or become unstable.

    The environmental assessment of the project repeatedly claimed that the dam would be built on solid granite. Expert geological assessments, which Fortis and the government withheld from the court for nearly two years, showed that there is no granite at the site, which is made up of more fragile sandstones and shales. “Today’s decision confirms that Fortis and the government have not been truthful to the public or to the courts. The fundamental errors about the geology of the dam site could mean the difference between life and death for the 12,000 people living downstream from the dam.” said Tony Garel, Chairman of the Belize Alliance of Conservation NGO’s.

    Canada’s foreign aid agency, CIDA, was also implicated by today’s decision. CIDA paid more than $500,000 Cdn for the Environmental Assessment of the project, which the dissent characterized as “so flawed by important errors” as to be unacceptable.
    Elizabeth May, Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada and a longtime opponent of the dam project said, “The Canadian government should be embarrassed by the court’s findings. This report did not meet the standards acceptable in Belize, or the standards that Canadian taxpayers would expect.”

    The clearing of the dam site began last June by a Chinese state company which had won the contract to build the dam.

    This is the first environmental case in the history of the Privy Council, the final court of appeal for Belize and many countries in the British Commonwealth.***
    http://www.oneworld.ca/external/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sierraclub.ca%2Fnational%2Fmedia%2Fitem.shtml%3Fx%3D565

    Glen Murray, NTREE Chair
    ***Back in 2004 Glen Murray, then Mayor of Winnipeg ran for the Liberals in the federal election. He had been part of Prime Minister Paul Martin’s strategy team on new funding for cities. He’s one of several star candidates recruited by Martin to boost Liberal fortunes in the west. Murrays was defeated in his attempt to become a member of the Canadian House of Commons by Conservative Steven Fletcher.***

    ***Murray was appointed by Prime Minister Paul Martin as chair of a National Round Table on the Environment and Economy in March 2005, despite opposition from other political parties and a non-binding vote against his appointment in the House of Commons. He now lives in Toronto where he lectures at the University of Toronto’s Massey College.***

    “That, due to the fact Mr. Glen Murray has insufficient experience in environment related fields or study, this committee calls on the Prime Minister to withdraw Mr. Murray’s appointment to the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy.”-Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development- FOURTH REPORT

    http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/cmte/CommitteePublication.aspx?SourceId=106004

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/print/CTVNews/1083874927699_79284127/?hub=Canada&subhub=PrintStory

    Jack MacLeod, former National Round Table member and CEO of Shell

    A Question for Jack MacLeod, National Round Table member and CEO of Shell:
    Jack, did you or anyone at Shell intercede on behalf of Ken Saro-Wiwa?

    On November 10, 1995, after a mock trial, environmental and social activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others were hung by Nigeria’s military government. Saro-Wiwa had called for sound environmental practices and compensation for the devastation of tribal lands by oil companies.

    “Ken Saro-Wiwa was hanged today for speaking out against the environmental damage to the Niger Delta caused by Shell Oil through its 37 years of drilling in the region. Ken Saro Wiwa was campaigning for what Greenpeace considers the most basic of human rights: the right for clean air, land and water. His only crime was his success in bringing his cause to international attention,” said Thilo Bode, Executive Director of Greenpeace International.
    http://archive.greenpeace.org/comms/ken/murder.html

    Sources:
    http://www.nrtee-trnee.ca/
    http://www.sovereignty.net/p/sd/strong.html
    http://www.sovereignty.net/p/clim/wc1-97.htm
    (Rev. 1)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s