Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and his brother Dave, a pilot, sailor and singer, teamed up to make a music video for Canada Day. Google “Hadfield In Canada” and enjoy.
The oil spill in Alberta last week was nasty, 31,000 barrels of goop dumped in muskeg the size of two CFL football fields. It wasn’t supposed to happen. The pipeline is new, double-walled, state of the art. The state of the art detection technology didn’t work either and the leak was discovered by chance in the old fashioned way. Someone walking by saw it. Pipeline owners Nexen (a Chinese government corporation) leaped into cleanup action immediately but, as with all environmental disasters, no one knows what can actually be cleaned up or what will stay put forever. The Mount Polley Mine tailings pond wasn’t supposed to breach either. Environmentalists aren’t against industry, they just want things to be done the right way. Question is, what on earth is the right way?
History was made in Kelowna last week. Visiting the area to inspect the latest wildfire scene, both Premier Christy Clark and Prime Minister Stephen Harper actually acknowledged climate change is real. Ms. Clark said it has made us “much more vulnerable to fire.” Asked if he thought global warming was contributing to forest fire intensity, Mr. Harper reportedly said that is possible. Ms. Clark was visiting her home riding, not sure what the PM was doing there. Hopefully something good will come from their appearance.
Flora MacDonald died last week. Now there was a remarkable person. Without any fanfare she went where few women had been before. A “Red Tory” she spent 16 years in parliament (a number as a cabinet minister) championing women’s rights, immigration, bilingualism and other issues not popular with her Conservative colleagues. After losing her seat in 1988 she spent years travelling the developing world empowering women as she worked with groups fighting poverty and injustice.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.