Mr. Mulcair's reading list -

Mr. Mulcair’s reading list


In his interview with Tom Clark this weekend, the NDP leader recommended a pair of readings. The first is his own essay, adapted from the preface to Andrew Nikiforuk’s book Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, that appeared in the March issue of Policy Options.

If Canada could simply apply the basic principles of sustainable development, such as the internalization of costs and polluters pay, it would have long-term beneficial effects both environmental and economic. This is why I have proposed a “comprehensive cap and trade plan” that would be based on the principle that “polluters pay.” My plan would cap climate change pollution at the source, thus avoiding complicated monitoring systems that are prone to loopholes. It would also include all the major sources of climate change pollution in Canada. It’s a plan that has been endorsed by Professor Andrew Weaver, a lead author of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Instead of taking such a sensible approach, Stephen Harper continues to heavily subsidize unsustainable practices by making direct financial transfers, by reducing taxes for petroleum producers and by investing large numbers of taxpayer dollars into speculative research into the capture and storage of carbon dioxide. We’re also exporting jobs, since exporting unrefined heavy oil creates no value-added jobs in upgrading or refining. It’s equivalent to exporting raw logs — a practice typical of undeveloped nations.

You can read an excerpt from Nikiforuk’s book here. The Google preview is here. The Globe’s review is here.

The other text mentioned is Unnatural Law by David Boyd, published in 2003. You can read the first chapter for free here. The Google preview is here.


Mr. Mulcair’s reading list

  1. This is an interesting move – mostly because it’s (mostly) the same approach that Dion took with the Green shift plan that didn’t work so well – Arguably a move to split the West and Ontario, to move to a win with Ontario and Quebec – shows that the battleground will be the central parts of the country in the next few years…

  2. Why do Conservatives never address the point about shipping raw bitumin? I’m sure that refining can be done cheaper in SE Asia (without pesky safety or environmental regulations, and with no protection for the rights of indentured workers), but are the true costs of shipping billions of barrels of oil away and then back again accounted for?
    What about the risked costs of another breach of a pipeline in a valuable watershed (such as was seen in the Kalamazoo river recently)? Of an Exxon Valdez-scale accident on the coast? These are very real financial and environmental risks that need to be included in any project’s profitability calculation. Unless the companies that are planning to make money off shipping raw bitumin south and west plan to dissolve immediately, should such an event occur (I don’t think the larger pipeline companies would, but shipping companies routinely disappear when their ships run aground…and Transport Canada lets them. Just look at the hulk still rusting away on Scatarie Island off the Cape Breton coast for a very recent example of such practices.)