For Bill

Canada Immigration Forum (discussion group)


 
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Subject: For Bill
In today´s local paper down here. Wondering what your take is.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-canada-oil-sands-webonly-nov26,0,2866770.story

[26-11-2008,12:08]
[***.130.12.0]
Richard
(in reply to: For Bill)

Well, they failed to tell to the public that 90% of the oil companies up in Fort Mc are US owned.

The rest 7% are companies run by US partners and the 3% is Syncrude which is the only Canadian owned company.

Now, polution?
Hell yeah! However, did they mentioned that we have probably one the most advanced systems to control polution in the world?

Plant sites invest billions of dollars a year in developing procedures to keep the enviormental impact to a minimum.

People don´t realize that once the oil is extract from the tar the sand goes back to the land, that keeps our forest alive.

It is a topic that is hard to make a point, we have oil, gas and $$. Yeah, Green peace hates us, however they fly around the tar sands in a helicopter that runs in fuel.

????????

Last thing I heard, they didn´t rent a horse to come up here and critize how much damage we cause.

What about the nuclear plants in Northern Ontario?
Or in the US?

Of course the word for the 21st century is "Oil".

Interesting article, but it fails to inform all the details. The price of oils has dropped.
BUT still more expensive of what it used to be 4 years ago and in the best of my knowledge, the plants were up and running 4 years ago.
So, we still in business.



Cheers,

Bill

[26-11-2008,15:36]
[***.34.111.122]
Bill
(in reply to: For Bill)
Thanks for a more balanced picture. Some of your points I see and agree with. But I guess what bothers me are the toxic waste ponds killing 500 ducks at a time that land in them. Or the local population cancer increase, sick fish, and scarring of the land. Not sure it´s worth it, especially happening in Canada, of all places.
[26-11-2008,16:38]
[***.130.12.0]
Richard
(in reply to: For Bill)
Yeah , they call them "tailing ponds", the killing of the 500 ducks was a shame. I was not impressed either. The local population cancer increase? I am not too sure about that. I can smell more smoke in downtown Edmonton than up here. If you check our air quality monitors, you will find out that out air is decent and a lot of this comments are a little bit over rated. (We don´t cough black smoke either)

Sick fish?

Maybe the Athabasca river is not the best river for fishing but the polution doesn´t start here.

It begins up North where the farmers put all the waste into the river, pesticides and all the chemicals for the farming industry.... guess where ends up?

It doesn´t get any better down south, farmers have ZERO environmental control or very little, but no body talks about the hidden cost of the "Alberta beef". Lots of polution from the farmers ends up in this river.

Oil sands pump water out of the rivers, but the crap doesn´t go back in, it stays in the tailing pond to be treated.

Scarring of the land: We give back to the land its minerals and soil, we just take the oil out of it, all areas where the oil has been extracted it is green already. Tons of trees have been planted.

Don´t get me wrong, I don´t defend 100% the plants, there is room for improvement,we may not have the air quality of Calgary or BC but is not as nearly as bad as the media portrait this part of the world.


Cheers,

Bill



[27-11-2008,13:08]
[***.34.111.122]
Bill
(in reply to: For Bill)
I think in general the American public thinks very highly of the Canadian environmental policy. However, since moving here, we have been constantly surprised at the lack of regulations and control--far, far less than in the US, at least where electricity is concerned.

These articles do tend to shock us, but the truth is that Canada isn´t nearly as green as her image suggests. Just one more reality check for us in the 4 months we´ve been here.

Don´t get your hopes up that it´s a green paradise up here, Richard. Believe me, no one is more surprised than me to find that despite all the needed improvements, the US dominates in environmental protection.

[28-11-2008,15:29]
[**.252.125.242]
wannabecanadian
(in reply to: For Bill)
Thanks Bill and Wannabe, good points from both of you. I think it´s a discussion of interest and importance for many of us concerned about these issues. Interesting observations, wannabe, on what you see there.

Based on my readings and adding to wannabe´s comments, I get the impression Canada is struggling to appear environmentally responsible, yet at the same time remain economically competitive on the world stage, especially considering a major recession is looming. It´s as if it proudly wants to display a green face to the world, yet accepts, tolerates, or pretends to deny questionable industrial practices.

But at least it has a stated goal and policy to improve and meet world goals (i.e., Kyoto), unlike some other countries I know. I don´t think the Tribune article was off it´s mark in analysis of the potential negative impact of the Alberta tar sands.

[28-11-2008,16:58]
[**.53.226.146]
Richard
(in reply to: For Bill)
I think that´s a very fair assessment, Richard. Even being the environmentalist that I am, I have to admit it is hard to look around me and not have an understanding that some environmental requirements would mean certain and sudden death for the livelihood of entire provinces and cultures.

It is difficult to look around, for example, at the endless kilometers of trees and suggest that forestry is detrimental, or at the endless wilderness that stretches from northern New England to treeline in the Arctic and suggest that small mining operations or fisheries should somehow be abolished. It is a very different viewpoint than I am used to having in an urban environment.

I am thankful for this expansion of understanding, although there are many areas in which Canada definitely needs to upgrade its responsibilities. A particular concern for me is the lack of labeling requirements on food. As a consumer, I literally have no way of knowing exactly where my packaged food comes from: there are laws now stating that packages must state where some of the ingredients come from, or where it was packaged, but that´s pretty meaningless. The mandarin oranges that I buy for my son say it is a product of Canada--oh really! Mandarin oranges from Canada?!

I digress. I got off topic. I have a feeling that we´ll be seeing some pressure from our president elect to modernize some systems up here, and if Harper wants to stay on Obama´s good side (and he no doubt does), it will benefit Canada and the US alike. I have little doubt they will figure out how to balance economic growth and environmental responsibility.

[28-11-2008,17:40]
[**.252.125.242]
wannabecanadian
(in reply to: For Bill)
Again I have to take part and as usual "negative". Only I hope if Wannabe can get away with negative then why not...

I worked partly in Environmental Engg/remediatio as my profession in both of the countries. My feling is exactly what wannabe said. Canada definitely looks greener by the book but the reality may be different. As I don´t have or better to say can´t have the complete picture I can´t comment for sure. However, I saw many times gross violation of environmental protection regulations in broad day light, with no challenge at all that are never possible in the US.

Did you hear about disposing raw sewage into the sea? This should be a high priority in Canada. It is unbelievable that Canada even doesn´t have any standard for sewage disposal, whereas even in many poor 3rd world cunntires they have. That means, any Canadian city can dump their sewage no matter how contaminated or toxic it is into the nature with just only a sub standard treatment.

http://environment.about.com/od/waterpollution/a/canadasewage.htm

[29-11-2008,11:14]
[**.207.127.42]
DC
(in reply to: For Bill)
DC I´m glad you came in on this conversation. I´ve been wondering where you´ve been.

I don´t think either of us are being negative, just realistic and honest (I know that´s how you´ve always presented yourself here). There´s a lot of room for improvement, and image isn´t always what it seems. This is as true for Canada as it is for anywhere.

You know, we´ve spent a mighty lot of time traveling around Canada over the past 15 years, reading various papers daily and immersing ourselves in all things Canadian. We really thought we knew what we were getting into when we moved here. The truth is, we didn´t. I´m not complaining by any means but I will admit it´s a bit of a shock to find that the reality is very different than we perceived it to be from afar. Vacations are not real life and the daily papers shed little light on daily realities.

Just this morning my husband and I were talking about the current political crisis for Mr. Harper. It seems he can be essentially tossed from power if the other parties don´t agree on his financial package, and I actually said the words "Wow. It´s like a whole different country". Well, yes, duh, indeed it is, but it almost took hearing the words come from my own mouth to make it really sink in.

Many immigrants don´t appear to care about environmental policies, educational standards, health care, cultural differences, and the like. My advice to them: CARE. Because these issues and all the others WILL affect your life once you´ve picked up your old life and settled into your new one. You will agree with some and not with others, you will adapt in some ways and not in others, and it is certain that your values and life view will be challenged daily.

Sorry to get off topic a bit from the original posting. A lot of things are running through my mind lately, and my morning coffee is only beginning to clear my head.


[29-11-2008,11:59]
[**.252.125.242]
wannabecanadian
(in reply to: For Bill)
Wannabe,

Thanks for your words and I´m very glad to know that at least one here felt my absence, may not mean anything, but may mean a lot.

I know very well what exactly going into your mind as I went the same feeling; shock of reality resulting from a huge difference of what I knew before by the book and what I experience everyday around me. Not only job, but also overall living standard. Yes, my feeling was and still is, ""Wow. It?s like a whole different country". To me, there are some quarters who intentionally try to create this dillusion for their own sake and were quite successful. Surprisingly there are many others who pretend to hide their heads under the sand and take any criticism as extremely personal. This is the underlying reason of my so negative. You are absolutely correct, there is a land and sky difference bet´n visiting as a tourist and immigrating for pemanently.

Mt final word about US/Canada comparison is, it is very easy to find negatives about US, hard to find negatives about Canada in the book...but the reality may be totally opposite.

You are correct also that many (I think the most considering most of the recent ones are from Asia..) don´t care about the environment, healthcare..education..at least fo the initial years. As a matter of fact, they can´t while struggling hard for survival.

[29-11-2008,12:20]
[**.207.127.42]
DC
(in reply to: For Bill)



Canada has a lot of room for improvement no question about that, still a young country lots to learn.

Far better enviornmental policies in the US?

I am not too sure about that(specially the word "Far"), Good example is the oil extraction in the Golf of Mexico, or some of the Gas Patch companies in North Dakota.
Alaska???? It is a sick joke in terms of "Envionmental Protection"

As I said, things could be better, however this part of the world has lots to offer as well.

I really hope that things will work out for Wannabe in this country.


DC, not everybody fails in Canada, not everybody "Struggles" there are people that have successed here.

Cheers,

Bill





[30-11-2008,00:32]
[**.70.95.206]
Bill