Sometimes people talk about the 2011 spring flood as if it were just part of an ongoing “natural” cycle. Some who have been around for past floods compare 2011 to the severe floods of 1974 or even 1955. As a teenager in 1955 I well remember canoes going down the streets near the overflowing Wascana Creek.
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We’ll need a vibrant democracy not shirking from the challenges of sustainability to make a necessary transition. How are we doing in Saskatchewan? And will the new NDP leadership enhance our quest to become a sustainable society?
Prime Minister Harper’s view that Alberta’s tarsands will be the economic motor for the Canadian Energy Superpower is starting to unravel. Alberta faces a $6 billion revenue shortfall and will face a $4 billion deficit. Last year it predicted “only” an $800 million deficit. Premier Redford can’t displace responsibility on to a shortage of pipelines, for Alberta’s budgetary calculations can’t be based upon hypothetical scenarios. Nor can Saskatchewan’s, which projected a $95 million surplus, which has dropped to $9 million.
The summer of 2012 has seen a group of dedicated activists from Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario begin working to revive resistance against the nuclear industry’s persistent efforts to entrench its economic objectives in Saskatchewan.
Perhaps the most pressing issue is the continuing attempts by the industry-driven Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) at finding a “willing” community in northern Saskatchewan to host a nuclear waste disposal site. Northern communities are divided between the need to alleviate desperate poverty and unemployment and the very real concern for the long-term environmental and personal impact of toxic radioactive wastes.