“Dirty Dollars” by David Bruser and Jesse McLean, with data analysis by Andrew Bailey
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
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Suncor said that while its violations are “unacceptable,” public money it received helped the company increase biofuel and wind energy production in Canada.
On Canada’s east coast, New Brunswick-based Irving Pulp and Paper was convicted in 1998 and again in 2010 after pleading guilty to violating the federal Fisheries Act. The fines totaled $125,000, and the company landed in a federal Environment Offenders Registry. The 1998 conviction stemmed from an incident where about 15,000 gallons of green liquor — a pulp production byproduct — discharged into the Saint John River. The company is before the courts on new charges that the mill once again violated the Fisheries Act. Irving has pleaded not guilty.
Irving said the company has worked hard to meet and surpass environmental regulations. A spokesperson pointed to the mill’s solid waste reductions, energy efficiency and the tens of millions of dollars spent by the company on numerous environmental initiatives, including efforts to reduce air emissions.
Both companies received vastly more from governments than they paid in pollution fines.
The public money is most often given to companies as interest-free loans, subsidies intended to make the plants more competitive or environmentally friendly, electricity rebates, payments for services and research grants.
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This member of the public doesn’t want to see biofuels (the insane practice of producing food not for human consumption but for vehicle fuel) produced anywhere, anytime. Yes, Roughage is also used, but not only. Putting that aside, The article presents a good, clear look at the professional scam artists – good Corporatocracy citizens – who operate with impunity throughout various industries. The article makes it clear that this problem will not go away. Even the example given of what could be a model for the federal government, namely the city of Toronto, reveals that corporations just can’t be prevented from exploiting and abusing citizens.
The authors ask: “How tough do you get on environment violators when they are also large employers operating in towns and cities that depend on them for jobs and a tax base to fund schools and other essential services?” Which is about the same as the authors declaring that neoliberal capitalism (almost absolute freedom for corporations) doesn’t work.
Then there’s this obscenity:
“Ontario government fails to stop Nestlé’s billion-litre water grab” That was the headline of the November 30th email I received from the Council of Canadians. I’m already boycotting Nestlé, so I won’t bother signing a pledge to do so, which people are invited to do on the CoC website. But I did pass on (sign and send) a form letter, via petition, which I read and agree with, to the gangster Liberal Party politician who represents my riding, apparently. And I added a few words:
Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti,
The following form letter reflects my concerns perfectly. I understand that in our Corporatocracy, corporations are actually running things, but are any of you within the machinery of the gangster corporatocracy RESISTING? How many instances of criminality by corporate Canada do Canadians need to have brought to their attention before they wake the hell up? You are no doubt aware of the Toronto Star expose dealing with taxpayer-funded polluters. Instead of being properly penalized, corporate polluters (destroyers) get handouts of OUR MONEY!!!!
The form letter:
I am shocked that Nestlé is allowed to continue pumping millions of litres of water per day from its main well in Aberfoyle, Ontario despite the fact that the corporation’s permit to do so expired over a year ago.
Nestle’s permit to pump water from a well in Erin, Ontario expired at the end of summer but the Wynne government has not posted Nestlé’s renewal applications for either of these permits.
As you know, the Ontario government must consult with the public and obtain free, prior and informed consent from Indigenous peoples before Nestlé permits can be renewed. However, your government has not made Nestlé’s renewal applications public, or held public consultations on them.
Two-thirds of people in Ontario want your government to phase out permits for bottled water takings. Simply increasing the fees charged for permits will not do anything to protect vulnerable aquifers.
Therefore I urge the Ontario government to:
1. Post and hold public consultations on Nestlé’s water pumping applications, including seeking the free, prior and informed consent of affected Indigenous peoples.
2. Phase out current permits for single-use bottled water facilities and implement a permanent moratorium on new permits for such facilities.
3. Review water fees for all other industrial water users, hold a series of public consultations on water priorities, and fund job retraining for workers in the bottled water industry.
With a critical provincial election on the horizon, this is an opportunity for the Wynne government to demonstrate to Ontarians that it is serious about protecting community water sources.
Water is life. As my MPP, I urge you to speak out and take a position to phase out bottled water for good. I believe that these principled actions combined with strong leadership are critical to protecting water in Ontario today and for future generations.