Two Canadians have a billion-dollar pipe dream

Tease the day: Toronto academics are pitching a $20-billion, 8,800-km pipeline that fuels millions of lives

A pair of Canadians plan to raise funds for a $20-billion, 8,800-kilometre pipeline. They hope to draw from deep pockets in Hollywood, convene an international conference to scavenge for money, and suggest if everything goes according to plan, the pipeline might be in service by 2025. That’s quite a scoop for the Toronto Star this morning, wouldn’t you say?

Before you ask where in the oil sands Rod Tennyson and Romila Verma make their living, and who’s paying them to advocate such an enormous undertaking, you should know that their proposed pipeline is not in Canada—and it won’t carry oil. Instead, the University of Toronto academics say the pipes, if they come to fruition, will carry freshwater to 11 thirsty African nations stretching from Mauritania to Djibouti.

A pipeline to give millions of people clean water in a climate change–ravaged part of Africa. That’s your morning dose of idealism.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s intervention in a Manulife’s move to lower mortgage rates. The National Post fronts Flaherty’s opposition to a “race to the bottom” among lenders. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with a move to conduct more background checks on city cabbies. The Ottawa Citizen leads with a federal union’s refusal to make concessions on sick leave at the bargaining table. iPolitics fronts the real solution to Flaherty’s skills funding challenges. leads with U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel. National Newswatch showcases a National Post story about former Alberta premier Ralph Klein’s health struggles.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Aboriginal skills. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says he’d like to replicate the positive experiences of some aboriginal skills development programs in the budget he tables on Thursday. 2. Charbonneau. Quebec engineering firm Dessau admitted to $2 million in illegal political donations between 2005 and 2010, during testimony at the province’s corruption inquiry.
3. Policing costs. A summit hosted by Public Safety Canada that was meant to spur a discussion about reducing policing costs, and which attracted 250 police chiefs, racked up a $227,000 bill. 4. Economic development. Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Doug Eyford as a special representative to consult aboriginals on economic development and report directly to the PM.