COVID and pipelines (November 29, 2020)

Good Sunday Morning!

And November draws to a close.

Tomorrow will be Chrystia Freeland’s Financial Update, to which I will respond from Command Central – my home office in Sidney.  I will speak, beamed into the House of Commons on a big screen as the last of the speakers from each Opposition party in reply to our Finance Minister. Meanwhile, our Green Leader will be meeting with media, in real life, in Ottawa.  It is a good thing Annamie Paul feels COVID-safe traveling to Ottawa from her home in Toronto.  It is an excellent thing that she has such remarkable skills in speaking clearly and effectively to our national press.

Lately, Annamie Paul has been focusing on making it clear that in this second wave of COVID, Canadians need a better more coordinated national approach. We worked together to try to force an emergency debate in parliament on the need for better coordination- without increased partisanship.

I find it a difficult moment to communicate. It is distressing to see the increased partisan sniping in parliament in slamming the government for its COVID response – whether over vaccines or PPE.  Suddenly, everyone is an expert.

It is true that early on mistakes were made. It was Paul Manly and our Green caucus that first raised the need for masks.  And Paul helped in a big way resolving the conflict with the US Administration over the 3M N95 mask exports.  We have been constructive and intend to keep our tone collaborative.  This is how Annamie has been explaining what needs to be done to ensure Canadians receive vaccines.

Meanwhile, in Parliament Paul Manly has been consistently raising the issue of why and how we lost our public capacity to produce vaccines and have given Big Pharma the right to profits from publicly funded vaccine research.


Meanwhile, south of the border, the COVID second wave is spreading and intensifying while President-Elect Joe Biden can only watch from the sidelines.

Thanksgiving in the US will undoubtedly have pushed many areas into deeper disaster and unbearable stresses on their health care system.   And that is what I wish the Conservatives in parliament would recognize.  Our governments – provincially and federally – have made mistakes.  We are in a situation that requires that we be very careful. Collectively, we must keep our ability to respond and adapt intact.

There was some good news from the US this week in Biden’s announcement of some of his future cabinet members. Biden is living up to his commitment to a more diverse Cabinet.  There are more people of colour and women in those announced,  including the first woman ever to head treasury and the first woman head on national intelligence.  Good news for climate and bad news for the Keystone pipeline in the appointment of former Secretary of State John Kerry as Special Climate Envoy.  This appointment will be within the president’s inner circle, sitting on the National Security Council.  Kerry’s appointment is immediate on the president’s inauguration, not requiring Senate confirmation.  I was asked to share my reflection on Kerry by Policy magazine.


Last week, I dedicated this newsletter to the memory of my brother-in-law, Peter Kidder, who received not that long ago the diagnosis of a very aggressive and nasty cancer. But I want to mention my late sister-in-law, Margot Kidder.  We only met at one conference – although we had fun – way back in June 1986.  We had a lot in common and more in our shared activism. We were both arrested fighting pipelines.  I was arrested in 2018 against Kinder Morgan, while Margie was arrested at a Keystone protest back in 2011 She was arrested with another woman I deeply admire, Canadian actor Tantoo Cardinal.  While, to its shame, our government hopes to persuade President-Elect Joe Biden to change course and allow Keystone to be built, I am so encouraged by John Kerry’s appointment.  In the name of climate action, I so hope to honour Margot’s memory in celebrating the end of Keystone.  And soon, I hope we can celebrate the end of Transmountain, as even more studies demonstrate that it is a colossal waste of public funds in the interest of climate chaos.  Even the former NEB, now Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) is reporting that the business case is collapsing. Alberta might not need three pipelines: CER – Resources & Agriculture | Business in Vancouver (

And speaking of the US, a friend sent me this satirical piece about the US election from Australia.  A great argument against First Past the Post – and actually a laugh we all need …. Who will win the presidential cup? | Sammy J (S3 Ep 40) – YouTube

Stay well. Stay safe. And please continue to press Jonathan Wilkinson and the prime minister to step up climate actions! C12 needs to be massively improved.

Thanks again,



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