View Full Version : Economic Growth and the Impact on Communities

02-05-2007, 02:17 PM
The Community Service-Learning Program and the Parkland Institute are conducting a five-week speaker series that explores the impacts of the oil industry on Albertan communities. This series of talks is part of an interdisciplinary course at the University of Alberta that explores these themes by combining course work with community-facing projects in Fort McMurray. As such, the talks will pay particular attention to the impacts of the tarsands projects in northern Alberta on community sustainability. This free lecture series is open to the public. It would be interesting to discuss the talks through this forum each week, to see what ideas arise from them.

Thursdays, 7:00 - 8:30pm CSL/Parkland 5-week Speaker Series: Oil & Community: The Art & Science of Sustainability, ETLC 1-013, University of Alberta Campus

May 10 - The Impacts of the Boom on Fort McMurray
Melissa Blake, Mayor, Municipality of Wood Buffalo

May 17 - Immigration, Gender, and Labor Amid the Boom
Sherilyn Trompetter, Changing Together
Jan Reimer, Provincial Coordinator, Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters

May 24 - Is Nuclear a Solution to the Tarsands Energy Needs?
Nashina Shariff, Associate Director, Toxics Watch Society of Alberta
Heinz-Jürgen Peter, Research Associate, Parkland Institute

May 31 - First Nations Communities Negotiate Oil and Environment
Melody Lepine, Director, Mikesew Industrial Relations Corporation

June 7 - Tarsands and the ‘Alberta Advantage’: Understanding the Big Picture
Diana Gibson, Research Director, Parkland Institute

02-05-2007, 03:03 PM
Thanks for the information!

03-05-2007, 02:25 PM
I just wanted to add that the final speaker has now been confirmed: Lindsay Telfer from the Sierra Club, Prairie Chapter will be speaking with Diana Gibson.

Andrea Schuld-Ergil
14-05-2007, 09:30 AM
Over in another forum, "Replacement" posted this:

Just as a helpful suggestion virtually nobody except current U of A students is going to know what or where ETLC is and a person could spend a day looking for something on campus. Its in the Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex and heres the map: D3 on the map.


Andrea Schuld-Ergil
14-05-2007, 09:34 AM
Saw this related article - (Yay, Parkland Institute!)...

Subject: Conservative MPs storm out of meeting on SPP that Gordon Laxer addresses

Tory MPs storm out of meeting on energy sharing

Canada left short to aid U.S., says professor
Ottawa Citizen; CanWest News Service

Friday, May 11, 2007

OTTAWA - Amid heated charges of a cover-up, Tory MPs on Thursday abruptly shut down parliamentary hearings on a controversial plan to further integrate Canada and the U.S.

The firestorm erupted within minutes of testimony by University of Alberta professor Gordon Laxer that Canadians will be left "to freeze in the dark" if the government forges ahead with plans to integrate energy supplies across North America.

He was testifying on behalf of the Alberta-based Parkland Institute about concerns with the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), a 2005 accord by the U.S., Canada and Mexico to streamline economic and security rules across the continent.

The deal, which calls North American "energy security" a priority, commits Canada to ensuring American energy supplies even though Canada itself -- unlike most industrialized nations -- has no national plan or reserves to protect its own supplies, he argued.

At that point, Tory MP Leon Benoit, chair of the Commons Standing Committee on International Trade which was holding the SPP hearings, ordered Laxer to halt his testimony, saying it was not relevant.

Opposition MPs called for, and won, a vote to overrule Benoit's ruling..

Benoit then threw down his pen, declaring, "This meeting is adjourned," and stormed out, followed by three of the panel's four Conservative members.

The remaining members voted to finish the meeting, with the Liberal vice-chair presiding.

Benoit's actions are virtually unprecedented, observers say; at press time, parliamentary procedure experts still hadn't figured out whether he had the right to adjourn the meeting unilaterally. Benoit did not respond to calls for comment.

It's "reckless and irresponsible" of the government not to discuss
protecting Canada's energy supply, says Laxer.

Atlantic Canada and Quebec already have to import 90 per cent of their supply -- 45 per cent of it from potentially unstable sources such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Algeria, Laxer said.

Meanwhile, Canada is exporting 63 per cent of its oil and 56 per cent of its gas production, mostly to the U.S., he says.

"It's shocking the extent to which the Conservative party will go to cover up information about the SPP," says NDP MP Peter Julian, who also sits on the committee.

Other MPs raised concerns about recently revealed plans under the SPP to raise Canadian limits on pesticide residues to match American rules.

Questions were also raised about whether the effort will open the door to bulk water exports.

Representatives from the departments of Industry and International Trade defended the SPP as an effort to protect Canadian jobs in a competitive global market, without sacrificing standards. They denied charges SPP
negotiations have been secretive, saying civil-society groups are welcome to offer their input, and referred MPs to the government website.

© The Edmonton Journal 2007

15-05-2007, 09:33 AM
Thanks Andrea! We love having the Parkland Institute as a neighbour.

There was a good turnout to Mayor Blake's talk last Thursday, although we unfortunately did not have a lot of time for discussion. I think if one where to try to summarize her talk into one word, it would be "complexity." One word doesn't do us much good, and I think it may be fair to say that Mayor Blake doesn't quite know what WILL do much good in the Wood Buffalo Municipality. While I left feeling much better informed about the region, particularly since I only recently became aware that Fort McMurray was part of a regional municipality, I also felt a little shell-shocked by the sheer mass of information thrown at us with hardly a moment to breath between statistics. Were we meant to be thrown into confusion, left to puzzle over the numbers while our carefully wrought questions slipped from our minds? Was it a kind of plea to direct our outrage at the disregard for any sense of moderation anywhere but towards Fort McMurray itself? Assuming that anyone else there was outraged, of course.

I'm glad I was there, and I'm sure I'll be there again this week. I suppose I can hope that over the weeks to come I can make some sense of the barrage of information, the "complexity" Mayor Blake so painstakingly conveyed.