Some years, Earth Day clicks for people in a profound way. I’ve spoken to a few who were distinctly non-plussed with how things didn’t come together for them and their dreams this year. If you need some optimism for the rest of your week, check out this compendium. Pay attention to the ages of those [...]
Emily Eaton (Author)
University of Manitoba Press
In Growing Resistance, Emily Eaton reveals the motivating factors behind farmer opposition to GM wheat. She illustrates wheat’s cultural, historical, and political significance on the Canadian prairies as well as its role in crop rotation, seed saving practices, and the economic livelihoods of prairie farmers.
Through interviews with producers, industry organizations, and biochemical companies, Eaton demonstrates how the inclusion of producer interests was integral to the coalition’s success in voicing concerns about environmental implications, international market opposition to GMOs, and the lack of transparency and democracy in Canadian biotech policy and regulation.
Growing Resistance is a fascinating study of successful coalition building, of the need to balance local and global concerns in activist movements, and of the powerful forces vying for control of food production.
“This is a unique and important work. The preponderance of discussion on GM resistance has focused on consumer/health, environmental and economic issues. This work, by focusing on farmers’ perspectives, is exploring new territory, opening questions, giving insights into a different kind and level of thought and argument in the field.”
– Nettie Wiebe, Department of Church and Society, St. Andrew’s College, University of Saskatchewan, and former president of the National Farmers’ Union
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily Eaton is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Regina specializing in political economy and natural resource economies. She is also active in a variety of social justice struggles.
The pictures are clips from the ESL textbook with which I am currently teaching Saudi students. Nothing special about this particular textbook; these days, any textbook in any subject seems to include similar stuff. Supposedly, the topic is “the natural world.” But the true topic is obviously how evil humans are.
This culture of death stuff, this misanthropy, generally masquerades as science; yet of course there is nothing scientific about it. It is a philosophical, or rather a religious, position, to see man as evil, and uniquely evil. Science would or could make no such judgement; it is not involved with morals. In falsifying science, this anti-humanism probably alienates many of the young who would be naturally so inclined. Conversely, it is calculated to attract the worst sorts of misanthropists to science, which seems at least as dangerous to our future. And it is quite an awkward thing to have to deal with as a guest in a foreign culture; surely it is especially troubling in an ESL context. You want to convince Middle Eastern Muslims there is a compelling need to take down Western culture? Here it is, in a nutshell. The Westerners, it is apparent, hate us all and want to destroy us.
The first clipping describes mankind as the “worst” invasive species, and responsible for most of the world’s pollution. This is in a sense true, but also nonsensical. It is man who decides which species are “invasive,” i.e., both new to an area and unwanted. If men do not want men, then I guess men are invasive. QED. Otherwise, men are just following the same natural biological imperative of any other species, moving in to any new habitat that comes available. Nor is mankind the most pervasive species; not by a long shot. Insects, arachnids, and any number of micro-organisms have us beat seven ways to creation on that score. Similarly, pollution is human-defined as something humans don’t want. So of course, without humans, there is no pollution. A tse-tse fly has no such concept nor concern, whatever droppings it may leave or species it may ravage.
The final picture is unfortunately not self-explanatory. The context is this: the reader is asked to match the English names for various animals with their pictures. And one of the animals named and pictured, here right next to the Chinese mitten crab, is the human. The creature is showing what it can do on the gym floor. The message, surely, is that man is not a spiritual being, not both body and soul, not half animal and half angel, but an animal like any other, and of no greater significance.
This is obviously wildly objectionable to any Christian, Jew, Muslim, or pagan Greek, not to mention roughly the balance of the human race. What is the point of throwing this in, if the intent is not propagandistic, and controversialist?
Now, be clear that this is not a problem with one particular book. Quite the opposite: this particular book was selected largely because it was the least culturally objectionable to be found, for a Muslim audience. Most are far worse in terms of openly promoting what John Paul II called “the culture of death.”
Controversial pesticides linked to catastrophic honeybee declines in North America and Europe may also kill other creatures, posing ecological threats even graver than feared, say some scientists.
Most streams that flow near cities and towns are laced with drugs that escape from sewage treatment plants or pharmaceutical factories. Although often occurring at concentrations of a few parts per trillion, these compounds can nevertheless hurt aquati…
BY BRUCE JOHNSTONEREGINA LEADER-POSTCattle Roundup at a Sask. Community PastureMARCH 28, 2013 3:30 PMA growing number of organizations are lining up to oppose the provincial government’s plan to sell off all or part of the 1.6 million acres of communit…
For decades, people have been baffled by thousands of bare, circular soil patches that dot arid western African landscapes with inexplicable geometric precision. They’re known as fairy circles — and the fairies, says ecologist Norbert Jürgens, are termites engaged in …
BY DAVE COLESRABBLE.CAMARCH 19, 2013″In a bad omen for his leadership, Broten responded to Premier Wall’s pressure by telling reporters: “To clear the record … I support the Keystone XL pipeline because of a triple bottom line assessme…
This week, we start with a transportation spin alert. Last week, Allen Garr wrote an interesting piece about the seemingly obvious idea of running a Skytrain subway to UBC [see below]. One possibly contentious issue would be whether it would be bored or made with the disastrous cut-and-cover debacle that broke Cambie Street, and its [...]
Deep beneath the ocean floor off the Pacific Northwest coast, scientists have described the existence of a potentially vast realm of life, one almost completely disconnected from the world above.
Hugo Chavez died of cancer on March 5, 2013. He represented an ideological pushback against neoliberal globalization. He pursued a progressive hemispheric trade agenda. He raised oil royalties dramatically to improve the social capacity of people in and around Venezuela. He revolutionized and democratized Venezuela’s constitution. He attracted the ire of American imperialists who supported [...]
By Jim Harding
March 7, 2013
Prime Minister Harper’s view that Alberta’s tarsands will be the economic motor for the Canadian Energy Superpower is starting to unravel. Alberta faces a $6 billion revenue shortfall and will face a $4 billion deficit. Last year it predicted “only” an $800 million deficit. Premier Redford can’t displace responsibility on to a shortage of pipelines, for Alberta’s budgetary calculations can’t be based upon hypothetical scenarios. Norcan Saskatchewan’s, which projected a $95 million surplus, which has dropped to $9 million.
When the Keystone XL was put on hold before the US presidential election, Harper and Alberta quickly shifted their support to the Northern Gateway pipeline to the BC coast, to access the Asian market. But even if Harper could end-run environmental assessment and force en-route support, it would take up to 7 years to make the Asian market a reality. What might Alberta’s cumulative deficit look like then? What guarantees are there that the price of oil would stay the same? What if the price of carbon got added in, as it should? What guarantees are there that China won’t establish its own energy security plan, as is the US, which could be a net oil exporter by 2030?
Now, with such grass-roots opposition to Gateway, the oil-baron Premiers have shifted back to get recently re-elected Obama to approve the new Keystone XL route. That 1,800 km pipeline would go from Alberta, through Saskatchewan and six US states to Texas refineries. It would be owned by Trans-Canada which along with the uranium company, Cameco, co-owns Ontario’s nuclear company Bruce Power, the corporation that wanted to build nuclear plants along the North Saskatchewan River.
In January Premier Wall wrote President Obama, trying to convince him that the US needs Trans-Canada’s pipeline for energy security. He promoted Western Canadian tarsands graphically, covering an area the size of Florida and holding 98% of Canada’s oil reserves, which are the 3rd largest in the world. He argued that with Keystone, by 2020, 4 million barrels of oil a day, twice what now comes to the US from the Persian Gulf, could come from Canada.
But is he barking up the wrong tree? The corporate lobby asserts that new pipelines could mean another $27 billion for the Canadian oil market. Their complaint is that Canadian oil presently gets a lower price than the world price, by as much as $30 a barrel. At present, they argue, there is a glut of oil and insufficient capacity to pump the projected increased production from the tarsands. However, if anything, pumping even more oil to US refineries could further decrease the price. Furthermore the US is steadily increasing extraction of shale gas which, due to oversupply, further undercuts demand for oil. Meanwhile, production costs are much higher for Alberta’s tarsands than for the light oil coming from the Bakken area along the Saskatchewan-US border.
No wonder investors are starting to get nervous. According to the Jan. 14, 2013 MacLeans, Suncor is reviewing the planned expansion of three oilsands projects and Talisman Energy may make cuts of as much as 25% next year.
The Jan. 17, 2013 Reuters story on Walls’ letter reported why some Canadian groups are lobbying against Keystone. Alberta’s Pembina Institute joined the Natural Resource Defense Council in opposition because “the project would foster increased oil sands development in Alberta and surging carbon emissions”. Oil Change International pointed out that, “emissions from a byproduct of refining oil sands, known as petroleum coke, have so far been unaccounted for”, noting “Petcoke can be burned like coal by utilities.” Their calculations show that when tarsand carbon is fully accounted for it “emits 5 percent to 10 percent more carbon dioxide than does coal.”
Meanwhile, Alberta’s Wildrose opposition leader Danielle Smith has been contriving an environmental rationale for expanding the tarsands, arguing that achieving carbon reduction is mostly about changing from coal plants to natural gas for generating electricity. Premier Wall’s letter doesn’t attempt such environmental spin; there’s no mention of the climate crisis at all. With the highest per capita carbon footprint in North America, even higher than Alberta’s, it was probably best to leave this stone unturned.
MacLeans interviewed Premier Wall about his letter to Obama. Asked why Alberta’s Premier didn’t co-sign when it was co-signed by ten Republican governors, Wall said “We can be an honest broker because we don’t have commercial oil sands in our province”. This is a little righteous since later in that interview he indicates his concern is about “increasing the sustainability of oil sands development.”
Wall claimed his concern is pipeline capacity, getting the oil from the Saskatchewan-side of the Bakken area into the US market. Like Alberta’s Redford, he argues that if this was assured the price of oil would rise, alleging “This costs our treasury $300 million a year that we could use to pay our debt or invest in infrastructure”. But if revenue did rise it could just as easily be sucked up by future disaster relief from the growing extreme weather events resulting from continuing to pump more carbon into the biosphere.
Last year increased income taxes from a growing population luckily offset the unexpected costs of disaster relief. And while Saskatchewan remains the only province still projecting a surplus, the housing bubble is already showing cracks, with the sale of single-family homes in Regina dropping by 27% last year. The boom may be waning here too.
In early March, Premier Wall announced his plan to visit Washington. It may come as a surprise that he said he wasn’t doing this just to lobby for the pipeline but, according to the Canadian Press, “to highlight green initiatives taking place in his province”. This shift came subsequent to his trip to see Premier Redford after her visit to Washington, where she heard that the Democratic administration is gravely concerned about the climate crisis. Henry Waxman, top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been quoted as saying “We know that climate change is happening now, we have to fight it now, and we must say no to this polluting pipeline now.” Has Wall perhaps had a change of heart?
Both premiers are scrambling to counter the growing US environmental lobby that has drawn a line in the sand over Keystone. In February 20,000 protesters brought their message to the White House and they weren’t demonized by Obama as “foreign-funded radicals” as Harper has done with Canadian environmental groups. And in spite of Wall’s claim to have no commercial motives, as the Canadian Press story says, “Saskatchewan has the potential for oil sand development and has already got investors in the wings”.
Redford promotes an environmentalist image of Alberta, emphasizing taxing heavy emitters, investing in “clean energy” and “beefing up environmental monitoring of the oil sands.” Sounding a bit like Wildrose, Premier Wall emphasizes “clean coal”. Crunching the numbers in a new way, for a new message, he says that $1,400 is being spent on this “per man, woman and child”; “I’m not sure of another jurisdiction in North American that can make that claim”. But this is a very big stretch as the Estevan-area $1.4 billion carbon sequestration project is linked to extracting more oil and releasing more carbon. What really stands out about Saskatchewan is not clean-coal but the fact that we still have the highest per capita carbon footprint in North America, hovering around 70 tonnes annually.
If the $1,400 per person was really being spent to move our energy system towards ecological sustainability, the Premier could brag in Washington. And think what the $7 billion earmarked for Keystone could do if it was redirected towards conversion to a truly sustainable energy plan. One step at a time!
By Jim Harding
How is our province doing facing up to this global challenge? The Wall government likely believes it is thinking globally and acting locally. We are after all, building our provincial economy out of world demand for non-renewable resources here. But this isn’t exactly what we mean. This is similar to the kind of thinking that was used to continue to ship slaves across oceans because there was still an economic demand; or for that matter, the thinking still used to try to justify exporting illicit drugs to lucrative markets abroad; the end justifies the means.
Sustainability requires that we consider the global impacts of what we do locally. If our local-regional activities perpetuate unsustainable outcomes elsewhere, we should reconsider. Sending carcinogens like asbestos or uranium abroad because there is a short-term profit is neither ecologically or morally responsible. Nor is continuing to plan the economy around exporting carbon! The moral argument however, may not be too convincing in our economistic times. But sustainability also means the need to think ahead to better see what’s happening globally so that we aren’t caught off guard, to our detriment, locally. Saskatchewan falls short on this count too, as Wall’s abiding support for tarsand pipelines shows.
The Sask Party government doesn’t admit that it straddles these contradictions. There’s no doubt that Premier Wall is an effective speaker; I recently heard him at the Saskatoon SUMA conference and had a chance to see his narrative at work. It can be quite persuasive until it is deconstructed and tested against realities. His talking points are that “economic growth” isn’t an end in itself; it is to improve the “quality of life” of people in our province. And that there will be “challenges” but these can be met with “innovation”. He also invokes our “co-operative heritage”, except we must now undertake regional co-operation to build the infrastructures for resource-driven economic growth.
Notice there are no losers, no burdens; just challenges. Also note that the term “quality of life” has entered the conservative vernacular. While you can stick-handle around a lot of contradictions with word spin, this economic growth will nevertheless bring burdens that directly undercut our quality of life. The increase of carbon, the loss of biodiversity, threats to our waterways and to the health of the biosphere present fundamental attacks on our quality of life.
It’s not that innovation isn’t a good thing; it’s what innovation is used for. Innovation in the interests of relentless economic growth based on resource extraction just isn’t ecologically wise. Innovation that addresses the global challenges we face is the task at hand for our political leadership.
We have such challenges on so many fronts. Saskatchewan generates most of our electricity with coal plants; we have the highest per capita carbon footprint in all of Canada and one of the highest in the world. Our economy is becoming more dependent on the extraction of toxic non-renewables, and we are leaving a massive trail of radioactive tailings to burden future life. Agribusiness, in the main, is still very unecological, and the prairies remain one of Canada’s most transformed eco-zones, to the detriment of biodiversity. We continue with urban sprawl, and several watersheds are being degraded. Pasqua Lake, near where I live in the Qu’Appelle Valley, has among the highest blue-green algae anywhere, largely the result of Saskatchewan’s capital city not upgrading its sewage treatment as its population grew. We don’t have to look globally to see the negative impacts of our unsustainable economic growth; they are staring us in the face.
This isn’t a partisan critique; partisanship won’t serve us well in our quest to find a sustainable path. It’s even worth asking what the difference is between the Sask Party’s vision for Saskatchewan as the “new Alberta” and that of past NDP governments, such as Blakeney in the 1970s. There are fewer Crowns for sure, and the Sask Party would like to eat away at these. The Potash Corp and Saskatchewan Mining and Development Corp, which spearheaded uranium mining, were privatized by Devine. And, under Wall, the pace of resource extraction accelerated with the province being even more “open for multinational business”. Last year, 173 million barrels of oil was extracted, breaking all previous records and second only to Alberta; more carbon to feed the climate crisis!
But it is essentially the same resources that are being extracted and the province’s revenues remains largely dependent upon these. And as we saw in 2009, with the huge shortfall in revenue, Saskatchewan remains very vulnerable with such big ties to the resource sector. The one good thing we could say about the Blakeney government is it tried to give the province more tools to influence the global market in the short-term public interest. However, Blakeney completely misjudged the future energy market, ruling out renewable energy almost completely. In this sense he and pro-nuclear Premier Wall were on the same page.
The Sask Party has bought into the neo-liberal myth that unfettered corporatism will trickle down to benefit the whole population, even though this model is steadily being discredited worldwide. The Premier’s populist rhetoric has maintained his popularity; however this can fluctuate greatly with the volatile global commodity market. Saskatchewan has yet to produce politicians of any affiliation with the foresight to collect revenue towards accelerating our conversion to more sustainable practices. Blakeney’s Heritage Fund collected from non-renewables royalties was depleted by the time Devine took power; much of it went for the infrastructure to expand uranium mining.
Saskatchewan is still mostly living in a frontier mentality where the government and major business interests promote extracting non-renewable toxic resources for other’s people’s use as the way to build an economic future for us and our offspring. As long as other countries still import energy resources, this single-minded but backward-looking vision makes some economic sense, but in the long run this is a dangerous game.
Astronauts who have seen the “blue marble” from space speak openly of being transformed by what they call the “overview effect” (Google this). From space you see the very thin protective atmosphere that has developed with life on this planet. You see the earth’s sun as just another star shining through black cosmic space. You see global weather patterns continually forming and reforming. You realize we are all of this planet, thoroughly interconnected as we travel together through space.
Our business-as-usual attitude maintains the trend towards ever-increasing carbon in the biosphere, and the suffering that the climate crisis will surely bring to our offspring. We must soon get on a path based on a better understanding of our co-evolution with other creatures; how imperative it is now, for our quality of life and survivability, to reach for a sustainable future.
(Edited) by Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive | Jan. 26, 2013: The Eco Tour comes to Ottawa! Join award-winning geneticist and broadcaster David Suzuki and award-winning, bestselling author and economist Jeff Rubin for an evening of discussion of how to create a truly sustainable future. The finer details: What: An Evening with David Suzuki and Jeff Rubin: The ECO READ MORE
Note: Rather than algae or cellulosic biofuels, as the author suggests, which will create just another grab for land to produce cellulose for bioenergy, we must challenge and ultimately dismantle the systems which give rise to the exorbitant consumption of energy. Without addressing the drivers of energy and resource consumption, social and ecological devastation will only continue to accelerate.
–The GJEP Team
America’s prairies are shrinking. Spurred on by the rush for biofuels, farmers are digging up grasslands in the northern Plains to plant crops at the quickest pace since the 1930s. While that’s been a boon for farmers, the upheaval could create unexpected problems.
A new study by Christopher Wright and Michael Wimberly of South Dakota State University finds that U.S. farmers converted more than 1.3 million acres of grassland into corn and soybean fields between 2006 and 2011, driven by high crop prices and biofuel mandates (right). In states like Iowa and South Dakota, some 5 percent of pasture is turning into cropland each year.
It’s a big transformation in the heart of the country: The authors conclude that the rates of grassland loss are “comparable to deforestation rates in Brazil, Malaysia, and Indonesia.” And those changes are already having plenty of impacts.
For one, farmers are now growing crops on increasingly marginal land. In Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, corn and soy are planted in areas that are especially vulnerable to drought. But farmers take the risk because corn and soy have become so lucrative — and, in part, because the federal government offers subsidized crop insurance in case of failure. (The study also finds evidence that many farmers are no longer enticed by federal conservation programs that pay for grassland cover.)
The loss of pasture itself could also have big environmental impacts. Studies have found that grasslands hold carbon in their soil better than cropland does. So there’s a climate-change angle here. A 2008 paper in Science argued that fuels like corn ethanol and soy biodiesel lose a portion of their carbon advantage over gasoline if farmers are simply digging up virgin grassland to grow the crops.
There’s a wildlife angle, too: The Prairie Pothole Region, traversing Minnesota and the Dakotas, is one of the continent’s key breeding grounds for ducks and other ground-nesting birds. Tall grasses in the area help sustain a number of species and shield birds from predators. But corn fields are now encroaching on the habitat, and bird populations are dropping.
In recent years, some environmental groups have argued that it doesn’t make sense for the federal government to keep subsidizing this push into the prairies. A recent report (pdf) from the Environmental Working Group, for instance, argues that Congress should scale back crop insurance for farmers who move into the country’s grasslands and wetlands. Farm groups, for their part, say the insurance is vital for their work — instead, Congress should expand conservation programs.
And what about biofuels? Groups like EWG have criticized ethanol mandates for pushing up corn and soybean prices and driving the crop boom. There’s a lot more hope for next-generation cellulosic biofuels grown from switchgrass or other plants with a much smaller environmental footprint. Or biodiesel made from algae, say. But until those become viable, the crop rush continues.
Well kids, seems the left wing eco nuts are at it again. Big demonstrations yesterdayÂ against the XL pipeline project, while the big guy at Trans Canada Pipelines had a news conference today to clear the air of all the bullshit! – Now that the route has been changed it no longer threatens the aquifer (ground [...]
Thanks to motion-triggered digital camera traps, scientists have a powerful tool for studying reclusive animals in remote, inaccessible areas — and also for generating animated .gifs of gorillas scratching their stomachs.
By Simon Enoch
Saskatchewan Office CCPA
February 13th, 2013
It seems the City of Regina just can’t get enough of bad deals. Hot on the heels of the City Plaza debacle and the stadium funding mess, the City has now announced its intention to enter into a 30-year contract with a private corporation to upgrade its waste water treatment facilities. Just as the City seems immune to the evidence that sports stadiums are a poor use of taxpayer money it seems equally oblivious to the mountain of evidence that essential public infrastructure should remain in public hands. In the case of contracting out wastewater treatment, the record is anything but reassuring.
“We noticed a huge increase in customer complaints – everything ranging from the inability to get water service for a new house to having a meter changed if it was faulty. But more specifically: leaks. We were in a period of drought just about the entire time that United Water ran our system. And citizens just were infuriated by trickling or gushing water that would be running down the street because it seemed like such a waste. We were under water restrictions and yet the water was leaking from the pipes.”
By 2002, the city was accusing UWSA of numerous violations, including dangerously low staffing levels, failure to complete maintenance obligations (such as replacing broken fire hydrants) and violation of both state and federal safe drinking water laws. To add insult to injury, a 2003 city audit estimated that the privatization contract had only saved the city half of the projected savings promised when entering the deal. Ultimately, Atlanta severed it’s agreement with UWSA, with one city official explaining:
“We have a contract that doesn’t work; it simply doesn’t work…the residents of Atlanta cannot get good water under the contract, and United Water cannot make money under the contract.”
The Atlanta experience has served as a cautionary tale for other municipalities contemplating water privatization. ”This is a huge setback for privatization, and it’s going to have to give both cities and companies pause,” said Dr. Peter H. Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute. Even industry insiders view Atlanta as reflecting badly on the push to privatize municipal water systems. Andy Seidel, CEO of USFilter, blamed United Water for a slowdown in the development of large projects. “The Atlanta and Halifax fiascoes,” he said, “have hurt the image of the industry.”
As Seidel’s comment suggests, Canada has not been immune to the dangers of municipal water privatization. Much like Regina’s proposal, the city of Hamilton’s water treatment plant was contracted out in a P3 arrangement to Philips Utilities Management Corporation in 1994. The company ended up firing half of the workers employed in the utility, flooding 200 homes and businesses, and spilling 180 million litres of raw sewage into the water system – the largest sewage spill ever into Lake Ontario. After a series of renegotiations and re-contracting, costing the taxpayer millions, the city eventually took back the service. In light of Hamilton’s experience, many municipalities, including Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria decided not go move ahead with planned P3s for water treatment and delivery.
The fundamental problem with contracting out an essential public utility like water to a private corporation is that the private entity exists for one reason only – to make a profit. Multi-national corporations are not advocating for P3 partnerships out of some sense of civic duty, they believe there is money to be made in these deals. Public finance economist Randall Holcombe argues that in negotiations with a multi-national company, municipalities are almost always at a disadvantage. He explains the frequency of bad deals between corporations and municipalities as the inevitable result of the private corporation’s better bargaining position. According to Holcombe, privatizing firms have a bargaining advantage in drawing up privatization agreements because they have a wealth of previous experience within the industry. Often these firms have many existing agreements with other municipalities and they know what costs can be cut and where efficiencies can be gained. The municipality on the other hand usually has little or no experience with the private treatment of wastewater and what sorts of costs may be entailed, usually at the mercy of cost estimates supplied by private consultants that may have a vested interest in privatization. Holcombe concludes that what has generally been passed off as privatization in wastewater treatment would be better described as “an arrangement where the private firms are willing to produce a service in order to make a profit while leaving much of the risk of operating the business with the municipality to which it sells.” Privatize the profits, socialize the costs, not a bad deal!
Ultimately, we have to decide whether we want to have so vital a public service as water in the hands of an institution whose sole concern is the bottom line or with an institution that is at least democratically accountable to the public. One Atlanta resident’s thoughts on that city’s disastrous experience with privatization are worth concluding on:
”Is it possible to have private water work right?” Mr. Certain asked. ”I’m sure it is. But if you have a political problem in your city, you can vote in a new administration. If you have a private company with a long-term contract, and they’re the source of your problems, then it gets a lot more difficult.”
Simon Enoch is Director of the Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from Ryerson University.