Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Unpacking the Question:A presentation by the Green Party of Saskatchewan on how to best meet the province’s energy needs

By Larissa Shasko, Leader of the Green Party Saskatchewan

Presented in Regina on October 8, 2009 to the Government of Saskatchewan Standing Committee on Crown and Central Agencies

The question we have been asked to answer in this energy inquiry is: “How should the government best meet the growing energy needs of the province, in a manner that is safe, reliable, and environmentally-sustainable, while meeting any current and expected Federal Environmental Standards and Regulations, and maintaining a focus on affordability for Saskatchewan residents today and in the future?”

To answer this question, we must begin by unpacking the question itself.

The question asks how the government should “best meet the growing energy needs of the province.” However, throughout my lifetime the population of Saskatchewan has remained stagnant hovering at just over or below one million people. So I ask this government, why are the energy needs of our province growing, especially when the problem of climate change demands that we should be reducing our energy consumption by maximizing energy conservation. This question is leading this process in the wrong direction. Perhaps it should read, “how can we best meet the growing energy needs of industry”.

The UDP Report proposed exporting 4-5000 MW of electricity to Alberta for tar sands production. At a lecture at the University of Regina Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy on June 18, 2009, Dr. Richard Florizone, Chair of the UDP stated that using nuclear power to “green up” the tar sands industry was a step towards addressing climate change. This statement is not only false, it is incredibly misleading. The reality is the opposite— Using nuclear power for tar sands production would actually be taking us closer to the “tipping point” of climate change catastrophe, and it was irresponsible of Dr. Florizone to state otherwise. The Alberta Tar Sands have recently been deemed the “most destructive project on earth” by Environmental Defence Canada[1] because the tar sands will single-handedly make it impossible for Canada to lower greenhouse gas emissions anywhere near what is needed to meet international targets. The Wall Government and Dr. Florizone continue to lead us down the wrong path, wasting taxpayers dollars and putting the people of Saskatchewan at risk to build a research reactor at the U of S.

Since the leaky old Chalk River reactor is too unsafe to operate and the failed MAPLE reactors have been abandoned due to escalating cost overruns and major safety problems, the federal government recently began accepting applications from other provinces and locations interested in producing medical isotopes for the Canadian market. While the Wall Government and the University of Saskatchewan have put in a $750 million proposal for a research reactor, the University of Winnipeg has put in a proposal to produce medical isotopes within three years using a cyclotron at a cost of $35 million.[2]

The nuclear industry implies that nuclear power is necessary if we want medical isotopes. The reality is that many currently used medical isotopes can be (and are) produced without nuclear reactors, using particle accelerators (cyclotrons). Although accelerators do create small quantities of lingering radioactivity, they do not pose the staggering high-level waste and proliferation problems associated with nuclear reactors, nor do they have any potential for catastrophic accidents of any kind, nor are they capable of producing weapons materials in militarily significant amounts.[3]

So why would Harper even consider Saskatchewan’s $750 million proposal to produce medical isotopes with a nuclear reactor when the University of Winnipeg can produce isotopes using a cyclotron for only $35 million? The UDP Report contains some answers.

The key figure at the University of Saskatchewan involved in the current proposal for a research reactor appears to be Dr Richard Florizone, Vice President of Finance at the U of S who was also the chair of the government sponsored and industry stacked Uranium Development Partnership.

As pages 81 and 109 of the UDP Report make clear, a research reactor at the U of S would not be used to research medical isotopes, but rather for other areas of research, including small reactor technology. There is interest in small reactor technology from mining companies looking to use small reactors for mining at remote locations, or in otherwords, for “nuclear powered mines”.[4] In the case of the tar sands, the main purpose of small reactors would be remote deployment – using nuclear power for tar sands extraction, reformation, and refining, which raises questions around emissions monitoring and regulation, waste transport and disposal, security risks, and preventing diversion of materials for use in nuclear weapons. Offering this technology to an industry already known for its appalling environmental record and its disregard of the rights of indigenous peoples would be a mistake, to say the least. The additional suggestion made in the UDP Report of developing small reactor technology so that small reactors could be used to provide power and heat to remote communities in place of diesel or propane generation is incredibly concerning. How could any government even think of powering remote communities, many of which have no access to emergency services, with a technology that destroys ecosystems and is proven time and time again to be unsafe? Subjecting remote communities to what the nuclear industry calls “first of a kind risk” would be a continuation of the violation of human rights of indigenous peoples. Since the research reactor at the U of S would be used to develop this technology, the Government of Saskatchewan’s proposal for this reactor should be abandoned. This technology is too expensive, too dangerous, and is not needed. There are safer alternatives.

“… in a manner that is safe, reliable, and environmentally-sustainable … and maintaining a focus on affordability for Saskatchewan residents today and in the future”

We can meet the province’s energy needs with simple, clean, and affordable power instead of using expensive and dangerous technology to produce more than we need. The Green Party of Saskatchewan opposes plans for building a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan and for turning the North into a nuclear fuel waste dump.

The Government of Saskatchewan must develop an extensive energy conservation program and foster the creation and implementation of alternative methods of energy production. Why not a Research Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation at the U of S to foster innovation in green energy technologies?

There are a number of policy measures to take that will help meet the energy needs of the province in a manner that is safe, reliable, and environmentally-sustainable, such as
· Developing a province wide Smart Grid to increase the efficiency of power transmission and take advantage of increased renewable energy production.
· Having SaskPower pay for all excess power production produced by private citizens or co-operatives from renewable sources. To stimulate maximum interest and renewable energy production, the rate of reimbursement should be more than the commercial rate charged by non-renewable energy sources such as coal.
· Ending subsidies to all established nonrenewable energy industries, and transferring these funds to subsidize the purchase and development of renewable energy production by both small and large-scale producers.
· Passing legislation to ensure that all new houses and housing developments are designed to take advantage of Saskatchewan's abundant passive solar potential. This includes mandatory installation of solar hot water heaters, solar air heater and hot water heat recovery systems on all new houses, and mandatory installation of digital electrical control panels (ie. a Green Switch) that readily shows individual energy consumption as well as gives the ability to easily turn off all unnecessary power, in all new houses. The Government of Saskatchewan should also develop a program to retrofit all existing houses in Saskatchewan with such devices, including full funding provided to homeowners or renters who could not otherwise afford to.

We can meet the province’s energy needs with simple, clean, and affordable power -- green power!

Nuclear Power, on the other hand, is not “safe”, not “reliable”, not “environmentally-sustainable”, and not affordable.

Nuclear power is fiscally unsound. The Green Party believes that energy choices should be economically rational. The best energy choices to respond to the climate crisis should be those that deliver the greatest reduction of GHG per dollar invested. By this criterion, nuclear energy is among the very worst options. Reactors cost billions of dollars, take more than a decade to build, operate unreliably after about the first dozen years of operation, and only produce one type of energy: electricity. Even if the industry were “green and clean” as claimed by the pro-nuclear propaganda efforts, it fails on the economics. Nevertheless, it is neither clean nor green.

Nuclear waste cannot be stored, treated, or disposed of safely and remains toxic for hundreds of thousands of years.

A large amount of radioactive tailings accumulate as a result of uranium mining. These tailings can leak into groundwater and affect the surrounding area, leading to increased cancer rates.

Depleted uranium ends up in weapons such as missiles and anti-tank bullets.

Nuclear power is NOT emissions free. Large quantities of greenhouse gases are produced in the mining and refining of uranium as well as during the long construction period of the power plant.

A reactor’s fuel rods, pipes, tanks, and valves can leak. Mechanical failure and human error can also cause leaks. As a nuclear plant ages, so does the equipment, and leaks generally increase.

It doesn’t take an accident for a nuclear power plant to release radioactivity into our air, water and soil. All it takes is the plant’s everyday routine operation, and federal regulations permit these radioactive releases.
Nuclear power is not safe and not reliable. The following is from an article titled “Reactor design puts safety of plants into question” on Page A7 of the June 29th, 2009 edition of the Globe and Mail:
“Canadian nuclear safety regulators have underestimated the seriousness of a design feature at the country’s electricity-producing reactors that would cause them to experience dangerous power pulses during a major accident. If reactors are not shut down fast enough, their ability to keep radioactivity from escaping would be put to the test, according to an internal commission document. The document says Canada’s seven nuclear stations, which all use Candu technology, have a feature known as “positive reactivity feedback” in which their atomic chain reactions automatically speed up if the water pumped into the reactors to cool them leaks, one of the worst accidents possible at a nuclear station… The discovery prompted the regulator, the Nuclear Safety Commission, to warn that it may have to order plants to run at less-than-full power indefinitely to compensate for what it deems less-safe conditions at the stations. The commission and the three utilities that operate reactors – Ontario Power generation, NB Power, and Hydro-Qu├ębec – will likely have to spend considerable resources dealing with the safety issues related to the problem and still may not be able to resolve it fully... According to the internal commission document, commission staff have always known that Candu nuclear power plants have positive reactivity, but they conceded that they miscalculated the magnitude of the condition. For instance, they said they underestimated a number used to measure it by 50 percent.”
The Wall Government has wasted $3 million dollars on the UDP Report, which was overwhelmingly rejected by the people of Saskatchewan in the recent public consultations. The UDP was not about energy options for Saskatchewan, but rather it was about propping up the uranium industry. Since $3 million was spent on a feasibility study for just nuclear, which is not safe, reliable, affordable, or environmentally-sustainable, is this government prepared to allocate the same resources on feasibility studies for each of the following energy options that do meet these requirements: wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, small hydro, and first and foremost, energy conservation?

“… while meeting any current and expected Federal Environmental Standards and Regulations”

At Dr. Florizone’s lecture at the University of Regina Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy on June 18, 2009, Dr. Florizone said that nuclear “only becomes cost competitive when you have carbon pricing.” The first problem with this statement is that we do not have carbon pricing in Saskatchewan yet. There does not appear to be much support for the carbon tax from either Premier Wall or Prime Minister Harper. Many would say proposing the carbon tax in the last federal election single-handedly lost the election for the Liberals. If nuclear only becomes cost competitive when you have carbon pricing, then nuclear is not cost competitive in Saskatchewan at this time.

Furthermore, if a carbon tax policy is enacted at either the federal or provincial level, the purpose of the carbon tax is to make polluting less attractive. Considering the toxic radioactive waste pollution of nuclear power that cannot be stored, treated, or disposed of safely, it is completely unacceptable for the carbon tax to be leveraged as incentive for expansion of the uranium industry. Governments will never be able to successfully implement solutions to climate change if large final emitters are enabled to find innovative ways out of the carbon tax while actually profiting from it. Take the incredibly expensive and unproven technology of carbon sequestration. Footnote - I object to this government’s use of the term “clean coal”; there is no such thing as clean coal and never will be, and I ask this government to correct its greenwashing language.

The University of Regina Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) researches carbon sequestration, and the PTRC is heavily funded by large international oil companies who plan to use carbon sequestration for enhanced oil recovery. In otherwords, they plan to pump the sequestered carbon into dried up oil wells to change the viscosity of the dried up oil so they can pump thirty more years of oil out of the ground. Large oil companies are investing huge amounts of money into carbon sequestration at the PTRC so that if any money is lost due to a carbon tax increasing the cost of gas, they can compensate for this loss of profits by increasing their supply of oil through enhanced oil recovery. This is another case of an unacceptable abuse of a tax on carbon, which is a tool designed to reduce pollution. The carbon tax is not intended to fuel nuclear expansion or enhanced oil recovery.

The Wall Government’s plan for climate change is incredibly flawed. The youth of this province are depending on this government to come up with real solutions, and instead, this government has put all its eggs in one basket with unproven and incredibly expensive carbon sequestration. We only get one chance to fight climate change. We must not miss this chance to go green and to go renewable.

The youth of this province want green jobs. Why are so many people forced to work in unsafe conditions in jobs that run out when the natural resources do when they could be working in green jobs that do not require them to sacrifice their personal health and safety? A community-based green energy economy can meet our energy needs while providing long-term solutions to the current economic crisis. Energy retrofitting and the installation of decentralized renewable energy, such as wind turbines and solar panels, must be done at the local level, meaning the creation of many new jobs. We need to start building a sustainable energy future.

“… in a manner that is safe, reliable, and environmentally-sustainable”

According to Ecological Economist William Rees, “there is general agreement that no development path is sustainable if it depends on the exhaustion of productive assets.”[5] Rees argues that since “human-made capital is made from natural capital and requires natural capital to function, … natural capital is prerequisite to manufactured capital.”[6] The economy is dependant upon the environment for natural capital. If natural capital is exhausted, productive assets will be also. Long-term economic sustainability can not be secured without adressing the environmental crisis and focusing on sustaining nature first.
It’s called ecological wisdom.
Ecological Wisdom is a key guiding principle of the Green Party of Saskatchewan. Ecological Wisdom means that human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We must support a sustainable society that utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture that replenishes the soil, move to an energy efficient economy and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.

“…today and into the future”

Just because we won the lottery by living in Saskatchewan doesn’t mean we have to spend all of our winnings in one generation. If we continue to be heavily reliant on extraction and exportation of non-renewable resources, what will be left of our province when these resources run out? What will be left for the people who live here?

To immediately address climate change, provincial government subsidies for the development and production of non-renewable energy resources, such as oil and gas, coal, uranium, and the tar sands must be redirected to energy conservation and the development of renewable energy alternatives that fully meet the criteria of sustainability.

Unlike non-renewable sources of fuel, the cost of renewable sources can be predicted into the future, as long as the wind blows and the sun shines.

“How should the government best meet the growing energy needs of the province…”

Biofuels -- an example of energy mismanagement by the Government of Saskatchewan:

The need for better energy management from the Government of Saskatchewan can easily be seen when one looks at biofuels production in our province.

According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives April 2008 edition of Saskatchewan Notes, when the former Calvert administration first announced that it would be assisting with the birth of a new ethanol industry in Saskatchewan eight years ago, rural economic development was the intention: “Farmers looking for a way to diversify were spun a vision of a huge new market for wheat and barley, spectacular growth in the livestock industry, and a province dotted with thriving ethanol/feedlot operations creating jobs and revitalizing rural communities” (Boyle). Yet eight years later, government of Saskatchewan biofuels policy has failed to have the outcome it was intended to since “the price of wheat has more than doubled, the livestock industry has contracted, and corporate-owned plants located in or near cities produce more ethanol than required under the Saskatchewan gasoline-blending mandate” (Boyle).

The Government of Saskatchewan’s biofuels policy encourages a renewable and alternative source of fuel to be developed in a way that is not sustainable.

SaskBIO is a four-year, $80 million provincial program that provides repayable contributions of up to $10 million per project for the construction or expansion of transportation biofuels production facilities in Saskatchewan.[7]

The Saskatchewan Ethanol Grant Program provides fuel distributors with a grant of 15 cents per litre for every litre of ethanol produced and sold in the province.[8] Saskatchewan has had a blending mandate in place since January 15, 2007 requiring fuel distributors in Saskatchewan to blend 7.5% ethanol into their total gasoline sales.[9] At this blend rate, the province is expected to use at least 105 million litres of ethanol a year.[10] At a subsidy of 15 cents per litre, this would mean that Saskatchewan taxpayers are subsidizing biofuels production at a minimum cost of $15,750,000 per year based on 105 litres of use provincially.

Only one of the four ethanol plants in Saskatchewan (a combined ethanol plant/feedlot located in Lanigan) has remained small and rural with production of 12 million litres of ethanol a year (Boyle). Two larger corporate plants produce 25 million litres a year (Weyburn) and 130 million litres a year (near Lloydminister).[11] These three Saskatchewan ethanol plants employ a total of sixty people (Boyle).

Recently, a fourth plant began producing biofuels in Saskatchewan. Located in Belle Plaine, Terra Grains began production in May of 2008 and is the largest wheat-fed ethanol facility in North America (Hall). The new plant employs 42 people and will “consume 15 million bushels of wheat a year to produce 150 million litres of ethanol” (Hall). With the new plant in full operation, Saskatchewan will be producing 30% of Canada’s ethanol, and Saskatchewan would be producing a surplus of 202 litres of ethanol above the amount required to meet the Saskatchewan gasoline-blending mandate (Boyle). This level of production will require 900,000 tonnes of wheat or 12% of an average provincial wheat crop, yet two ethanol plants in Saskatchewan have recently been unable to obtain enough wheat and have had to import corn from the U.S. to keep their stills going (Boyle). With wheat prices at a thirty-year high in early 2008, Saskatchewan farmers are “understandably focused on their core business of growing food,” not fuel (Boyle). A Saskatchewan biofuels industry has emerged, but not as it was supposed to. Under current Government of Saskatchewan policy, reviving rural economies through production of biofuels has failed.

In fact, interest in rural development of biofuels production appears to be inadequate or financially out of reach for potential investors. An announcement in February of 2008 of major changes to the SaskBIO program reduced eligibility requirements by lowering initial investments from 50% to 20% and expanding the area that an investor must live within from a 100 km radius of the project to anyone living in Saskatchewan.[12] These changes are clearly aimed at increasing interest from investors, but where does sustainability fit into the Government of Saskatchewan biofuels policy?

The Government of Saskatchewan justifies subsidies for biofuels by claiming that ethanol is clean, renewable and good for the economy.[13] To claim that biofuels are clean fails to factor in the greenhouse gas emissions generated and the petroleum based agricultural chemicals that are used to grow the grain. Although ethanol is renewable, it is far more sustainable when made from agricultural co-products (cellulosic ethanol) rather than growing grain to turn directly into ethanol.

This is especially true with regard to global food shortages. A critical analysis of the federal government’s ethanol policies by the C.D. Howe Institute published in July 2008 concluded that “Canadian households could expect to pay an additional $400-million a year for their food based on "misguided" federal and provincial policies aimed at boosting ethanol production, including incentives aimed at building ethanol plants”(Vieira).

Bio-ethanol can be made from agricultural crops (such as corn, wheat and other cereals, sugar and cane beets, potatoes, tapioca, etc.), or from oilseeds (such as soy, canola, and palm seeds) (Lens et al, 38). Ethanol can also be made from agricultural co-products (waste) such as straw, bran, corn cobs, etc. (Lens et al, 38). Under current practices, ethanol in Saskatchewan is produced using grain rather than agricultural co-products. This is not sustainable since the amount of energy used in the cultivation of the plants, transportation, and the energy intensive process to produce ethanol from grain is often greater than the total amount of energy yielded from the ethanol itself.

The fossil energy replacement ratio (FER) is the energy delivered to the customer over the fossil energy used (Lens et al, 42). The higher the FER, the less greenhouse gases produced per unit of energy delivered to the customer (Lens et al 42). Bio-ethanol made from corn has been found to have an FER of 1.4, while ethanol made from agricultural co-products has an FER as high as 5.3.[14] The FER shows us that using agricultural waste to produce cellulosic ethanol has far greater potential for addressing climate change than ethanol made directly from grain.

In their report on the alleged environmental benefits of biofuels entitled Biofuels: Is the Cure worse than the Disease?, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that even without considering agricultural use of land, only cellulosic ethanol produced from agricultural or forestry waste, sugarcane to ethanol in Brazil, and biodiesel made from animal fats or used cooking oil are capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions when compared to gasoline and mineral diesel.[15] Government of Saskatchewan biofuels policy must be changed to ensure biofuels production is not an environmental hazard, especially when it is being sold to investors and the public as clean and renewable.

Biofuels production could become more sustainable in the province of Saskatchewan through the following recommendations for changes to provincial biofuels subsidy programs:
The Government of Saskatchewan could change SaskBIO eligibility guidelines by implementing the following measures:
§ Require local agricultural or forestry co-products (waste) to be used to produce biofuels instead of using grain.
§ Re-establish the requirement of an investor to live within a 100 km radius of the project to ensure local economic benefit.
§ Establish sustainability program guidelines, including rural plant locations for all new biofuel production plants that receive funding from SaskBIO.

In order to receive the subsidy of 15 cents per litre of ethanol produced or sold in the province, the Government of could Saskatchewan establish eligibility guidelines for the Saskatchewan Ethanol Grant Program requiring fuel distributors to meet the Saskatchewan gasoline-blending mandate through ethanol produced from agricultural or forestry co-products.

Finally, the Government of Saskatchewan could immediately begin phasing out subsidies for the development and production of non-renewable energy resources, such as oil and gas, coal, the tarsands, and uranium, while immediately phasing in equal amounts of subsidies for sustainable renewable energy resources, including wind and solar power.

This brief study of biofuels management in Saskatchewan offers one example of how putting sustainability first could provide government with direction in energy policy-making initiatives. This example is but one example of many that show how the Government of Saskatchewan is failing to best meet the energy needs of the province, in a manner that is safe, reliable, and environmentally-sustainable.


[1] See http://www.environmentaldefence.ca/reports/pdf/TarSands_TheReport.pdf.
[2] “Manitobans tout low-cost isotope plan” Winnipeg Free Press, Aug. 1, 2009, Pg A4
[3] Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. See, http://www.ccnr.org/isotopes.html.
[4] “Firm raises eyebrows with their suggestion of nuclear powered mines” - Montreal Gazette, Aug. 18, 2009
[5] See Achieving Sustainability: Reform or Transformation? http://jpl.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/9/4/343. William E. Rees.Journal of Planning Literature, May 1995; vol. 9: pp. 343 – 361.
[6] See Achieving Sustainability: Reform or Transformation? http://jpl.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/9/4/343. William E. Rees.Journal of Planning Literature, May 1995; vol. 9: pp. 343 – 361.
[7] See http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/SaskBIO.
[8] See http://www.saskethanolnow.ca/Default.aspx?DN=48f17e5a-79d7-4f67-9c00-b45fbd311022.
[9] See http://www.saskethanolnow.ca/Default.aspx?DN=48f17e5a-79d7-4f67-9c00-b45fbd311022.
[10] See http://www.saskethanolnow.ca/Default.aspx?DN=48f17e5a-79d7-4f67-9c00-b45fbd311022.
[11] See Boyle, Edward R. April 2008. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives- Saskatchewan. July 28, 2008 http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/Saskatchewan_Pubs/2008/SaskNotes_Biofuels.pdf. [12] See http://www.gov.sk.ca/adx/aspx/adxGetMedia.aspx?mediaId=410&PN=Shared.
[13] See http://www.saskethanolnow.ca/Default.aspx?DN=fed8966f-5f00-492b-ac9d-e6e2411273c9.
[14] For more information on the fossil energy replacement ratio (FER), see page 42 of Biofuels for Fuel Cells: Renewable energy from biomass fermentation. Ed. Piet Lens, Peter Westermann, Marianne Haberbauer, and Angelo Moreno. London, UK: IWA Publishing, 2005.
[15] See http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/51/17/40881598.pdf.


Sources for Biofuels section:

Biofuels for Fuel Cells: Renewable energy from biomass fermentation. Ed. Piet Lens, Peter Westermann, Marianne Haberbauer, and Angelo Moreno. London, UK: IWA Publishing, 2005.

Boyle, Edward R. April 2008. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives- Sakatchewan. 28 July 2008 .

Hall, Angela. "Production underway at Terra Grain. " Leader Post [Regina, Sask.] 9 Aug. 2008,D.1. Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies. ProQuest. Dr. John Archer Library, Regina, Saskatchewan.13 Jan. 2009 .

Vieira, Paul. "Ottawa still hot on pushing ethanol use; Good Politics. " National Post [Don Mills, Ont.] 11 Jul 2008,FP.1. Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies. ProQuest. Dr. John Archer Library, Regina, Saskatchewan. 13 Jan. 2009 .

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sound Fiscal Management


Why is it so important to have green views and a voice of reason elected to Moose Jaw City Council this election? As a citizen of Moose Jaw, I have watched as democracy has taken a back seat in past terms of City Council, and I fully recognize the need for sound fiscal management. The current recession will require innovative thinking based on sustainability in order to find and implement long-term solutions. If the right decisions are not made now, future generations will pay. This is very true of decisions Moose Jaw City Council will be making in the upcoming term. I have the experience and necessary skills for the position of City Councillor, especially in the governance area of Finance and Administration.

So, where do we start?

The City must undertake a comprehensive overview of our current fiscal operating expenditures to see where money is being spent inefficiently. More efficient spending will allow improved city services and infrastructure upgrades without increased taxation.

Once this has been done, City Council must market Moose Jaw as a great place to raise a family and own a business (because it really is!).

City Council must also lobby the Federal Government for a commitment to one cent from GST to municipal governments as a reasonable approach to stable financing. Our Constitution was set up at a time when Canada was predominantly a rural country where fewer than one in 10 people lived in cities. The taxation system was set up to greatly favour the federal and provincial levels of government. Today 80 percent of Canadians live in urban areas. Taxes are collected disproportionately at the wrong level, and the municipal level of government which runs our buses, provides our water, and should be collecting our recycling is left with less than its fair share of Canadian tax revenue to provide these services with.

Urban Canadians want our garbage collected, good transit service, safe roads, and dependable water supplies. We also want new investment in green urban infrastructure including recycling, mass transit, energy efficiency upgrades to buildings, water conservation and community amenities like parks, sports fields and arts, culture and community centres. Underlying this is an urgent need to replace aging sewer systems, roadways and water pipes.

All of these are municipal responsibilities, but Canadian municipalities are constantly struggling with how to find enough money to do it all. According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, 50 percent of Canadian tax revenue is spent on federal programs, 42 percent goes to the provinces and only 8 percent goes to municipal governments. Canada’s biggest fiscal imbalance is the imbalance between municipal governments and everyone else. City Council must lobby the Federal Government for a commitment to allocate one cent from GST on an approximate per capita basis to municipal governments.
Larissa Shasko will be your voice on City Council for sound fiscal management.

Vote for Larissa - Elect a youthful voice of experience to Moose Jaw City Council. A voice of reason, a vote for change.


E-day is October 28th!

Moose Jaw is a beautiful city and a place I’m proud to call home, but we must address our City’s problems. We need real solutions and positive change today!

Due to changes in our global economy, industry has left Moose Jaw at a fierce pace, leaving far too many people without adequate paying jobs.

Our youth are also leaving Moose Jaw, seeking more education opportunities and brighter career paths.

Our small businesses are over-taxed.

We have no bike lanes, no plan for urban sustainability, and we have a very divided community.

This is not how things are supposed to be in the Friendly City. We need to rebuild community spirit in Moose Jaw, and we need to restore democracy on City Council.

I love this city because of its natural beauty and caring people, and because of the great potential our city has to become a vibrant and healthy community for the children of today, and tomorrow. I was married this summer, and my husband and I have chosen to stay in our home city of Moose Jaw to build our future. My commitment as a local activist and politician has always been to the people of Moose Jaw, first and foremost. I have gained much experience in recent years, and as a Political Science Student, I have gained great insight into the inner workings of our complex political system so that I have the ability and the necessary knowledge to get things accomplished as your Councillor. Sound fiscal management and restoring democracy are main priorities I will focus on. We need positive role models for our children in government, or they too will become apathetic young voters and disenchanted citizens.

If the right decisions are not made now, future generations will pay.

City Council must develop and implement a comprehensive plan for urban sustainability. For more on urban sustainability, including improved public transportation, a citywide program for recycling and composting, maximizing energy conservation throughout the city, more community gardens, a permanent farmers market for the purchase of locally produced food, bike lanes, a car share program, well-maintained sidewalks and walking paths, and ending urban sprawl while rebuilding core neighbourhoods.

In addition to supporting locally owned and small businesses, to revive our local economy we must foster the creation of green jobs by taking measures on City Council that will attract energy conservation and renewable energy industry to Moose Jaw. We can set an example for the rest of the province by meeting our energy needs through renewable energy sources and fully utilizing energy conservation methods. Energy retrofitting and the installation of decentralized renewable energy, such as solar panels, must be done at the local level, meaning the creation of many new jobs. And more students will come to Moose Jaw seeking training opportunities in Saskatchewan’s first potential off grid city.

The City also needs to lobby and partner with other levels of Government to (re)connect Moose Jaw with major centers and surrounding communities via passenger train. As the winter approaches, far too many commuters will have to face dangerous road conditions. Our close proximity to Regina and other cities is an asset that we are not fully utilizing.
As a first step, the City must work with STC to improve commuter bus service between Moose Jaw and surrounding centers, especially for students who live in Moose Jaw but attend the U of R or SIAST in Regina. As one of these students, I know first hand how inadequate public transportation for commuters between Regina and Moose Jaw is. This is adding to the ecological footprint of our city and to the gas bills of many commuters who travel between our two cities.

An important role of City Council is lobbying other levels of government to improve the lives of the people of Moose Jaw. This includes the greatly important task of lobbying the provincial government for critically needed hospital upgrades. As a dedicated and experienced activist, I will be a strong and capable voice for a hospital that is capable of serving the people of Moose Jaw with excellence. I am an experienced, well known, and respected lobbyist at the provincial level (and well known by provincial media), and I will ensure Moose Jaw is not ignored when the health of our citizens is at stake!

Sound fiscal management is also incredibly important. The City must undertake a comprehensive overview of our current fiscal operating expenditures to see where money is being spent inefficiently. More efficient spending will allow improved city services and infrastructure upgrades without increased taxation. Once this has been done, City Council must market Moose Jaw as a great place to raise a family and own a business.

To build a strong and healthy community, we must start by restoring democracy. We need a City Council that will set an example for the rest of Moose Jaw by being respectful and working together. In the many Councils and Committees I have been a part of, we aim to operate on a basis of consensus for the decisions we make. This means fostering adequate discussion between differing opinions until all those involved feel like their voices have been heard. Because we make our decisions using this method of striving for consensus, we are able to proceed on any issue with greater awareness of its potential problems, and we are also able to work together as colleagues instead of the great polarization we’ve seen happen amongst Councillors on the last City Council. As your Councillor, I will to bring this skill of consensus-based decision making to Moose Jaw City Council. I will represent your voices and raise your issues, because in a democracy, the people are in charge.

I will be a strong voice on Council for

-- Sound fiscal management

-- Safe and local food initiatives

-- Affordable housing

-- Locally owned & small businesses

-- Urban sustainability

-- The creation of Green Jobs

-- And Restoring democracy

On October 28th, I ask you to choose a voice of reason, and a vote for change.

Thank-you.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Moose Jaw Times Herald Q's & A's asked of all candidates (will be published in tomorrow's paper). My answers:

1. What should the city to deal with the issue of affordable housing forlow-income citizens?

The City must partner with community organizations and other levels of Government to plan and build more affordable housing. Also, incentives should be offered to private developers such as a tax-free grace period for property that new affordable housing is built on and offering vacant city owned lots and buildings to affordable housing developers at little or no cost.

2. What do you propose should be done to mend the rift in the city createdby the multiplex debate?

We need to restore democracy in the Friendly City. We need a City Council that will set an example for the rest of Moose Jaw by being respectful and working together. This requires consensus-based decision-making. We can also bring together our divided city by embarking on a community-building plan for urban sustainability that everyone can embrace and take part in.

3. What should the city do to improve life for its young people?

We need youth leadership elected to Council to inspire more youth to make their voices heard. The City must strengthen the role of the Youth Advisory Committee, develop a plan for urban sustainability, and improve public transportation to other major cities. Council must foster the creation of Green Jobs and new training opportunities by attracting green energy industry to Moose Jaw.

4. How would you balance the need for providing and improving city serviceswith the maintaining the lowest tax rate possible, to help attract newbusinesses?

The City must undertake a comprehensive overview of our current fiscal operating expenditures to see where money is being spent inefficiently. More efficient spending will allow improved city services and infrastructure upgrades without increased taxation. Once this has been done, City Council must market Moose Jaw as a great place to raise a family and own a business.

5. What should be done to assist the city’s poorest people?

The City must create more affordable housing and ensure easy access to affordable food that is locally grown. We must rebuild a healthy community for all by making Moose Jaw a place for people instead of just cars through a plan for urban sustainability, and the city must advocate other levels of government to implement a Guaranteed Livable Income (www.livableincome.org).

What would a comprehensive plan for urban sustainability include?

A basic definition of urban sustainability is "building cities for people instead of cars". Urban sustainability goes beyond environmental sustainability; it is about building healthy communities for today and tomorrow. A comprehensive plan for urban sustainability would include improved public transportation, a citywide program for recycling and composting, maximizing energy conservation throughout the city, more community gardens, a permanent farmers market for the purchase of locally produced food, bike lanes, a car share program, well-maintained sidewalks and walking paths, ending urban sprawl while rebuilding core neighbourhoods, and more!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New facebook group! Youth Matter to Moose Jaw


I've just started a new facebook group called "Youth Matter to Moose Jaw" in response to a question asked by a sixteen year old at the all candidates forum last Thursday, Oct.15. The question she asked was "what are you going to do for the youth of Moose Jaw?" She said, "I know we're not old enough to vote", but we still matter. And we do! The youth of this city matter today and tomorrow. Afterall, we are the future of this city. How can we make Moose Jaw a better place to live for young people if there is no outlet to make our voices heard in this election and on City Council? Everyone talks about "why do so many youth leave Moose Jaw?", but we seldom actually ask our youth why they want to leave and what will make them stay here. We need to listen to and take leadership from the youth of this city. I will be maintaining this facebook group now and into the future as a place for Moose Jaw youth to make our voices heard on City Council.

If you live in Moose Jaw and are under the age of 30, please join this FB group at:
http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?ref=sb#/group.php?gid=177814971013


The purpose of this FB group is to foster input and discussion from the youth of Moose Jaw during the 2009 Civic Election and beyond. Just because someone is not old enough to vote doesn't mean their opinion shouldn't be heard! Moose Jaw youth, this FB group is the place to make your voice heard this election. City Council especially needs to hear the voices of those under 18, so please join today and invite your friends!


There are currently three topics posted for discussion to group members:

What would make Moose Jaw a better place for youth to live?

Do you plan to stay in Moose Jaw when you graduate?

Should we lower the voting age in Moose Jaw Civic Elections?


I just created this group last night, so please pass word on about this new FB group to as many youth in Moose Jaw as you can! E-day is October 28th!



Peace and Solidarity,


Larissa Shasko



Saturday, October 17, 2009

Urban Sustainability and Affordable Housing


The recent housing boom has left many renters in Moose Jaw with increased rents and little opportunity to purchase their own home. Recent fires, capital projects, and buildings badly in need of repair have left many low-income renters displaced. Meanwhile, Moose Jaw continues to grow outward and we continue to see missed opportunities to refurbish existing buildings, often heritage buildings. Affordable housing initiatives must take priority. Council must develop and implement a comprehensive plan for urban sustainability in Moose Jaw, meaning we need to start building the friendly city to be a place for people instead of just cars. Urban sustainability, including improved public transportation, a citywide program for recycling and composting, maximizing energy conservation throughout the city, more community gardens, a permanent farmers market for the purchase of locally produced food, bike lanes, a car share program, well-maintained sidewalks and walking paths, and ending urban sprawl while rebuilding core neighbourhoods.

A key part of urban sustainability is reviving core neighbourhoods through affordable housing initiatives. This requires Council to work with community organizations & follow their recommendations for improving low-income housing opportunities in Moose Jaw.
The City will have to partner with these community organizations and other levels of Government to plan and build more affordable housing, and where opportunities exist to turn city-owned properties or heritage buildings into affordable housing, these opportunities should be seized.
Urban sustainability is a step we must take today to foster a brighter tomorrow. If the right decisions are not made now, future generations will pay. On October 28th, Vote for Larissa Shasko, Vote for Tomorrow.

Tourism Moose Jaw survey

Below are my answers for the Tourism Moose Jaw Survey sent to all candidates for Councillor in the 2009 Moose Jaw Civic Election:

1. Where do you place tourism in Moose Jaw’s economic future?

Tourism is clearly a key component of Moose Jaw’s economic future. Tourism creates jobs and is a substantial source of revenue for many of Moose Jaw’s businesses. Tourism knits this country together and enables Canadians to explore our historic and legendary city. To ensure a strong economic future for tourism in Moose Jaw, we must foster a green, low-carbon tourism industry and market it responsibly throughout the world. The city must help to provide exceptional tourist experiences by keeping our beautiful city parks and walking trails well maintained and bio-diverse. Our sidewalks and streets must also be well maintained to ensure a vibrant tourism industry in Moose Jaw. The fastest growing sector of tourism is Eco-tourism. To foster a vibrant and growing tourism industry, our city will need bicycle lanes (to capture on bicycle touring in the summer and to provide a greener way for tourists to explore Moose Jaw), and City Council will need to work with other levels of government to (re)connect Moose Jaw to major centres via passenger train service. Through our various approaches, Tourism Moose Jaw and the City of Moose Jaw can work together to create a sustainable and vibrant economic future for tourism in our city.

2. How do you foresee the future relationship between Tourism Moose Jaw and the City of Moose Jaw?

To ensure an even stronger and sustainable future for the tourism sector in the friendly city, the City must provide continued support to Tourism Moose Jaw, and we must work together with other levels of government to foster the creation of a vibrant sector of Eco-tourism through measures such as bicycle lanes and connecting Moose Jaw to major centres via passenger train. As the fastest growing sector of tourism, Eco-tourism can provide our community with increased revenues and new jobs. As we move into a time where sustainability must guide our actions in order to ensure long-term economic success, I foresee a growing importance of tourism to our local economy, meaning a strong and important future relationship between the City of Moose Jaw and Tourism Moose Jaw.

3. How important is outside marketing of Moose Jaw, either by the City or by Tourism Moose Jaw?

Outside marketing of Moose Jaw is very important to the creation of all sectors of a green economy in Moose Jaw. We must foster a green, low-carbon tourism industry and market it responsibly throughout the world. The City must also pursue outside marketing of Moose Jaw in order to attract green energy industry to our city in fields such as energy conservation and renewable energy technologies, which will create many new local jobs – Green Jobs.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Moose Jaw & District Labour Council Questionnaire

Below are my answers to the Moose Jaw & District Labour Council Questionnaire asked of all candidates for Councillor in the 2009 Moose Jaw Civic Election:

1) What concrete steps can the City of Moose Jaw take within the next 10 years to reduce its environmental footprint, specifically, the reduction of greenhouse gases, energy conservation and the adoption of cleaner sources of energy?

The City of Moose Jaw must immediately develop and implement a comprehensive plan for urban sustainability, including improved public transportation, a citywide program for recycling and composting, a recycling program for businesses, maximizing energy conservation throughout the city (especially in city owned buildings and in regard to our outdated traffic lights and overused streetlights), more community gardens, a full-scale farmers market for the purchase of locally produced food, bike lanes, a car share program, well-maintained sidewalks and walking paths (to encourage more pedestrians), and ending urban sprawl while rebuilding core neighbourhoods instead. A basic definition of urban sustainability is “building cities for people instead of cars”. In order to reduce Moose Jaw’s greenhouse gas emissions, we must rethink our one car per person mentality, but first, the City must take measures so that it is possible and convenient to live without a car in Moose Jaw.

Furthermore, the City of Moose Jaw must do all we can to attract renewable energy and energy conservation industry to our city. We can set an example for the rest of the province by meeting our energy needs through renewable energy sources and fully utilizing energy conservation methods. Energy retrofitting and the installation of decentralized renewable energy, such as solar panels, must be done at the local level, meaning the creation of many new jobs—Green Jobs. Students will also come to Moose Jaw seeking training opportunities in Saskatchewan’s first potential off grid city. Moose Jaw can reduce greenhouse gases and limit the size of our growing ecological footprint—but we need strong leaders elected to City Council who are committed to doing so. We have waited too long to take serious action, and future generations who will live here are depending on us to make our city sustainable now. Thank-you for asking this very important question.

2) What specific steps will you take to encourage residents to incorporate environmental sustainability into their daily lives? How will you ensure that all residents are made aware and are able to access new and existing environmental programs and services?

To encourage residents to incorporate environmental sustainability into their daily lives, the City must make environmental sustainability as accessible and as convenient as possible to those who live and operate businesses here. As mentioned above, this will require immediately developing and implementing a comprehensive plan for urban sustainability, including improved public transportation, a citywide program for recycling and composting, a recycling program for businesses, maximizing energy conservation throughout the city, more community gardens, a full-scale farmers market for the purchase of locally produced food, bike lanes, a car share program, well-maintained sidewalks and walking paths, ending urban sprawl while rebuilding core neighbourhoods, and more.

Public education is a key component of urban sustainability, and the Moose Jaw Advisory Committee on the Environment (M.A.C.E.) is ideally situated to foster this public education on how to incorporate environmental sustainability into the daily lives of the people who live here. I have served as Member at Large on M.A.C.E. since the beginning of 2009, and there is some solid action being taken by Committee members toward public education on waste reduction (composting, recycling, reducing, reusing, etc.). However, throughout my term, the focus of M.A.C.E. has been mainly on waste reduction (in order to achieve a concrete goal with limited resources and limited staff). In order to broaden this focus and improve the ability of M.A.C.E. to foster greater public education while also ensuring all residents are made aware and are able to access new and existing environmental programs and services, perhaps the City needs to devote more funding and more focus to M.A.C.E.

3) How do you see the transit system evolving to meet the needs of all residents and communities?

Moose Jaw’s transit system must be made more accessible by extending hours and days of operation and taking a comprehensive overview of current bus routes. As someone who does not own a car and gets around Moose Jaw by foot or public transportation whenever possible, I have a good understanding of how the transit system can evolve to meet the needs of all residents and all communities. Hours of service must be extended to include evenings, and bus service should be offered on Sundays and holidays. The current limited schedule does not allow those without a car to get to work if they work outside of regular work hours (‘banking hours’). Moose Jaw’s transit system is a great asset and a great step toward urban sustainability, but it is not realistically capable of taking the place of a car for someone living here. The operating routes, which currently work on a loop cycle, tend to make public transit somewhat less convenient. For example, it takes five minutes for me to get downtown by bus where I live, but nearly half an hour to get home. This is fine in a city the size of Regina, but in Moose Jaw, where it takes a maximum of ten minutes to get between any two points in the city, I believe this could be made more accessible/convenient, and doing so should attract increased use of our transit system.

I also think it is worthwhile to look into extending transit service to surrounding communities. Partnering with Saskatchewan Transportation Company may be an option to pursue. I currently commute two days a week to Regina for class at the U of R, and I take the bus whenever possible. But it is expensive (at $26 a round trip to Regina for students), and the schedule is pretty limited. There are many people and students who commute between Moose Jaw and Regina (and vice-versa) on a daily basis. The City must advocate for and partner with other levels of Government to (re)connect Moose Jaw with major centers and surrounding communities via passenger train.

4) What steps can the City of Moose Jaw take to provide safe and affordable housing that is integrated into the community?

The recent housing boom has left many renters in Moose Jaw with increased rent and little opportunity to purchase their own home. Recent fires, capital projects, and buildings badly in need of repair have left many low-income renters displaced. Meanwhile, Moose Jaw continues to grow outward and our City Council continues to find money for capital projects. Affordable housing initiatives must take priority. As noted earlier, Council must develop and implement a comprehensive plan for urban sustainability in Moose Jaw, and one of the main components of urban sustainability is reviving core neighbourhoods through affordable housing initiatives. This requires the City to work with community organizations and follow their recommendations for affordable housing in Moose Jaw. The City will have to partner with these community organizations and other levels of Government to build more affordable housing, and where opportunities exist to turn city-owned properties or heritage buildings into affordable housing, these opportunities should be seized.


5) How will you ensure that marginalized residents have increased input in community and social planning?

I will push for the (re)establishment of a Social Planning Advisory Committee to provide marginalized residents with the opportunity for increased input in community and social planning. I will also be fully available to meet with anyone from Moose Jaw who has input into community and social planning, and I will provide a strong voice on City Council for the issues raised and the input provided. We must work together to ensure a healthy community and happy lives for everyone in the Friendly City.


6) (a) What is your short and long term vision for the growth of Moose Jaw? How do you hope to balance new growth with the revitalization of downtown and addressing the infrastructure problems of other neighbourhoods?

The City must attract green energy industry to Moose Jaw in order to create many new jobs. I have watched with great concern as industry has left Moose Jaw over the past few years, and in order to stop people from leaving Moose Jaw, we must find ways to provide good paying, meaningful, and sustainable employment to those in need. Green Jobs will provide long-term growth for our city, including training opportunities.

City Council must take measures to end urban sprawl and to rebuild core neighbourhoods instead. The population of our city hasn’t changed much over the years, but our city continues to grow outward. Clearly this is not sustainable, especially as more businesses move to the outskirts of the city to be closer to those living in these newly developed areas. Meanwhile, our downtown struggles, our mall is too vacant, and our core neighbourhoods are plagued with deteriorating buildings, sidewalks, and streets. The City needs to make a commitment to grow our community, not simply the geographical space our community consumes. This is possible with the right leadership.

(b) How do you expect to fund this?

As a citizen of Moose Jaw, I have watched as some capital projects are implemented while others are overlooked. I am not sure what has guided these decisions, but as Councillor, I will be able to provide leadership in this process. We need to make sure crumbling infrastructure is not overlooked because “we can’t afford it” when are told we can afford a new multiplex. Sound fiscal management is my answer. However, overtaxing our small businesses and low-income residents is NOT an acceptable answer, and this must be addressed by the newly elected Council.

As Finance and Administrative Director of the Young Greens of Canada for the past two years, I have demonstrated the necessary skills to provide sound fiscal management concerning all decisions made by City Council. In my role as Finance and Administrative Director, I have managed an entire departmental budget, and with proper management of our finances, the Young Greens Council has been able to meet many more goals than we had originally hoped to, and we had a small surplus of funds left over at year’s end. I am also the Leader of a provincial political party that is debt free. We need sound fiscal management of this sort on City Council. If we can afford to build new neighbourhoods and commercial areas on the outskirts of our city, surely we can start spending these funds on rebuilding our core neighbourhoods and downtown area instead. We will not begin to lower our ecological footprint or to regain our sense of community unless we take measures to end urban sprawl.

7) What is your position on the full or partial privatization of public services and projects?

I favour public ownership and the long-term benefits it offers.

8) How do you see your role as a City Councillor being a support mechanism for workers?

I believe that in a democracy, the people are in charge. I will be fully accountable to the people of Moose Jaw, and I will fully represent the interests of our citizens and our workers. I will be a dedicated voice on Council for the interests of workers, and I will be available to meet with any worker who has an issue to raise with Council.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What can we do to grow Moose Jaw in both population and the economy while being world leaders in environmental-sustainability?

In addition to supporting locally owned small businesses, we need to push for the creation of green jobs by taking measures on City Council that will attract energy conservation and renewable energy industry to Moose Jaw. We can set an example for the rest of the province by meeting our energy needs through renewable energy sources and fully utilizing energy conservation methods. Energy retrofitting and the installation of decentralized renewable energy, such as solar panels, must be done at the local level, meaning the creation of many new jobs. People go where the jobs are, and students will also come to Moose Jaw seeking training opportunities in Saskatchewan’s first potential off grid city. As our population grows, City Council needs to promote an end to urban sprawl and take measures to rebuild core neighbourhoods instead.

On October 28th, vote for sustainable solutions to Moose Jaw's failing economy. Elect Larissa Shasko as Councillor.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What can we do to make Moose Jaw City Council work better?


We need to restore democracy on City Council. In the many Councils and Committees I have been a part of, we aim to operate on a basis of consensus for the decisions we make. This means fostering adequate discussion between differing opinions until all those involved feel like their voices have been heard. Because we make our decisions using this method of striving for consensus, we are able to proceed on any issue with greater awareness of its potential problems, and we are also able to work together as colleagues instead of the great polarization we’ve seen happen amongst Councillors on the last City Council. As your Councillor, I will to bring this skill of consensus-based decision making to Moose Jaw City Council. I will represent your voices and raise your issues, because in a democracy, the people are in charge.

It’s time to restore democracy in Moose Jaw. On October 28th, vote for real solutions. Vote for Larissa Shasko.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"No Nukes - Go Renewables" Rally and Parade - Today at 1 P.M. in Saskatoon!

Gather at the Bowl at the U of S campus 1:00 for the Parade to the Vimy Memorial Bandshell (20th St and Spadina Cres) or simply come to the Bandshell directly where the program will start at 2 PM

Keynote speaker is Winona LaDuke, a renowned Native American envioronmentalist who is leading her community in a major renewable energy community development initiative to reduce fossil fuel consumption and to prevent nuclear expansion.

Other speakers and topics at the rally include medical isotopes, the economics of nuclear, nuclear waste issues, renewable energy and citizen involvement, with Larissa Shasko, Peter Prebble, Jim Harding, Ryan Mieli and others. Local musicians will also perform.

For more information please visit www.cleangreensask.ca or phone 373-8078 or join our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/business/dashboard/?ref=sb#/pages/Coalition-for-a-Clean-Green-Saskatchewan/83935014222

"No Nukes - Go Renewables"
Rally and Parade
Sunday, October 4th in Saskatoon

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's time to get things done in Moose Jaw!


Long before the nuclear debate heated up, and long before I was asked by members of the Green Party of Saskatchewan to run for the leadership of the party after Amber Jones stepped down as Leader, I had made the decision to run for Moose Jaw City Council. I moved to Moose Jaw five years ago, and I instantly found "home". I grew up in Regina and the nearby small town of Lumsden, so Moose Jaw is the perfect fit between the beauty of Lumsden and the amenities and buzz of Regina. Moose Jaw is such a great city that my new husband (Ryan Stusek) and I have chosen to stay in Moose Jaw and build our future in the "friendly city". But there is so much to be done to prepare Moose Jaw for the future, and this work is simply not getting done by recent City Councils. It's time for positive change in Moose Jaw, which is exactly why I am running.

I have seen too many idle Councillors who run and get elected to Moose Jaw City Council to get their own motives accomplished instead of working for the people of this city. As a student of Political Science and a dedicated political activist, I have real experience to offer on Council and the necessary tools to get real change accomplished to improve the lives of the people of this city.

I also want to see an end to the lack of democracy we have seen on City Council in recent terms. It will take electing Councillors who are really there to work for the people of Moose Jaw in order for democracy to return to Moose Jaw! Furthermore, electoral reform is needed at all levels, including Moose Jaw civic elections. Did you know that there are no election financing rules for Moose Jaw civic elections? This admittedly puts a university student at an unfair advantage to those who may be at the end of their careers or retired and who have already built their "nest egg". So to that note, donations to the campaign to elect Larissa Shasko are welcome! Please contact me at larissa.shasko@gmail.com to volunteer, to make a donation, or to request a sign.

So why is it so important to have green views and a voice of reason elected to Moose Jaw City Council this election? As a citizen of Moose Jaw, I have watched as democracy has taken a back seat in past terms of City Council, and I really recognize the need for good fiscal management. Resources are running out at all levels of government, both monetary and natural resources. The current recession will require innovative thinking based on sustainability in order to find and implement long-term solutions. If the right decisions are not made now, future generations will pay. This is very true of decisions Moose Jaw City Council will be making in the upcoming term. We need a voice of reason on City Council. I have the experience and necessary skills for the position of City Councillor. As a Political Science Major and dedicated political activist, I have the tools and the "know how" to get things done!

I will be a voice on Moose Jaw City Council for urban sustainability (building communities for people instead of cars), safe and local food initiatives, low-income housing, locally owned businesses, and the creation of much needed Green Jobs in Moose Jaw through doing all we can to support and attract the renewable energy sector.

On October 28th, I ask for your support as Councillor for Moose Jaw City Council.

To find out more about me, read this recent profile in the Sasquatch (an independent Saskatchewan newspaper): http://sasquatchnews.com/keen-green-on-the-scene/


Peace and Solidarity,

Larissa Shasko


-- Vote for the change you want to see in the world. --

Monday, September 28, 2009

Democratic Bankruptcy - Time for the Solution!

In the 2008 federal election, a key focus of my campaign as the Green Party Candidate for the riding of Palliser was democracy, or rather Canada's lack of it. According to Fair Vote Canada, the votes of 50.7% of Canadians who voted in the 2008 federal election elected no one. The push for strategic voting did not work, and vote swapping failed to produce results. Canadians were left with another Conservative minority government that refuses to offer solutions to growing emission levels and irreversible environmental degradation. Stephen Harper won't feel the consequences from his failure to take action on climate change, but the youth of this country will.

In the 2008 federal election, more than 60% of Canadians voted against the Conservatives, yet they are now our ruling government.

All across the country, Canadians are calling for electoral reform. Our current electoral system is a glorified "winner takes all" game. Unfortunately, this has led to voter apathy. The last federal election marked the lowest voter turnout in Canadian history! Only 59% of eligible voters actually voted.

Stephen Harper was wrong; Parliament isn't dysfunctional, our electoral system is!

Canada's "first-past-the-post" voting system is outdated and is failing to produce results reflective of the general public. Democratic politics has evolved significantly in Canada, yet our voting system has stayed the same.
Both federally and provincially, our voting system was designed for a two party system, but we are now represented by multiple different and distinct political parties. An electoral system of proportional representation would make every vote count. Political parties would receive a percentage of seats in the House of Commons or Legislature based on the percentage of the popular vote they receive. Governments elected by proportional representation reflect the priorities of all voters.

Nearly one million people who voted for the Green Party of Canada in the 2008 federal election were ignored because the Green Party's national support is spread out broadly across Canada. At the same time, political parties with dense regional support wound up being over-represented in Parliament. In the 2008 federal election, the Green Party of Canada received 7% of the popular vote but did not receive a single seat in the House of Commons. Meanwhile, the Bloc received 10% of the popular vote and won 50 seats. Under a system of proportional representation, the Green Party of Canada would have received 23 seats instead of zero, and the Bloc would have received 28 seats instead of 50. Clearly, our electoral system is in need of reform. It could be considered unbalanced at best.

In the Saskatchewan, the Conservatives received 54% of the votes in the 2008 federal election, yet they won 94% of the seats (all but one). Since many people in Saskatchewan are tired of having their votes ignored, voter turnout in our province was only 49%! It is time to put an end to democratic bankruptcy; it is time to restructure our electoral system. We need proportional representation.

Our current electoral system turns candidates and political parties into competitors instead of colleagues. It is hard to get cooperative work done in government in a system like this. If we are going to take concrete action on climate change, Parliament will have to cooperate, and so will every province in this country and every country in the world. Proportional representation would reduce the overly partisan nature of our current political system that tends to make cooperation difficult. An electoral system of proportional representation would encourage collaboration and compromise so that elected representatives can stop fighting and can start taking action.

At an all-candidates forum held in Moose Jaw during the 2008 federal election, all four candidates in the riding of Palliser were asked if we would support an electoral system of proportional representation. Much to my surprise, all of us said yes. With another federal election call on the horizon, now is the time to push this issue; Canadians are ready for this change.

Electoral reform is the next step in the fight for democracy in Canada, and in Saskatchewan.

-----
Larissa Shasko,
Leader of the Green Party of Saskatchewan
2008 Green Party of Canada Candidate for Palliser
Treasurer of the newly formed Saskatchewan Chapter of Fair Vote Canada.

Founded in January of 2009, Fair Vote Saskatchewan is a multi-partisan organization open to supporters of all political parties as well as those without any political affiliation. Working together as colleagues, we foster public education on proportional representation and we advocate for the need to restructure our electoral system to be proportionate. For more information on the Saskatchewan Chapter of Fair Vote Canada, visit the website at:

http://fairvotesask.blogspot.com

Friday, August 28, 2009

Green Party of Saskatchewan UDP Stakeholder Presentation

Green Party of Saskatchewan UDP Stakeholder Presentation

Presented in Regina on June 23, 2009 at 10:00 am

Presentation by Larissa Shasko
Leader of the Green Party of Saskatchewan


The Uranium Development Partnership Report:
A lost opportunity to develop a sustainable energy future in Saskatchewan



The UDP Report is:
--Not socially acceptable
--Not environmentally appropriate

The Uranium Development Partnership public consultation meetings have drawn huge crowds of people, and the vast majority of people attending the UDP meetings have overwhelmingly rejected the idea of nuclear power and a nuclear fuel waste dump in Saskatchewan.

However, the UDP Report is not about "IF", but about "HOW" the items in the UDP Report will be achieved. The UDP Report is a business plan for expanding the uranium industry, and therefore, the environmental and public safety risks have been written off as externalities. They have not been properly considered or studied. The Government of Saskatchewan needs to immediately fund and release independent studies into the health and public safety risks and the environmental impact of nuclear power and uranium mining. Studies of this type are long overdue, and it is scary to think that the Government of Saskatchewan would propose expanding the uranium industry without a good understanding of the health and safety risks and the environmental impact.
Until such studies have been completed, expanding Saskatchewan’s uranium industry cannot be deemed environmentally appropriate or socially acceptable.

The UDP Report is biased.

The UDP Report is not about energy options for Saskatchewan; it is about propping up the uranium industry. Most of the members of the UDP are known to be proponents of nuclear development. Many of them work for the nuclear industry. Both the traditional political right and left in Saskatchewan would likely agree that promoting private gain at public expense is unacceptable.

Members of the UDP:
Duncan Hawthorne, President and CEO of Bruce Power

Jerry Grandey, President and CEO of Cameco Corporation
Armand Laferrere, President and CEO of AREVA Canada

Chair of the UDP:
Dr. Richard Florizone, Vice-President of Finance and Resources at the University of Saskatchewan

Is this a conflict of interest?

A conflict of interest occurs when an individual or organization has an interest that might compromise their reliability.

The CEOs of Bruce Power, Cameco, and AREVA, stand to benefit financially from the initiatives in the UDP report, and they have a duty to represent nuclear power and uranium mining in the best possible light. The Chair of the UDP is the Vice-President of Finance and Resources at a university that would obtain a huge amount of funding for the research and development that is proposed in the UDP Report.

Furthermore, the Uranium Development Partnership is composed of twelve men and zero women. Women are consitutionally guaranteed equality in Canada by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, yet the UDP is completely void of gender balance. There are different implications of nuclear power for women than there are for men, particularly in regard to our reproductive systems and in relation to our role as mothers. Public opinion polls have indicated that the women of Saskatchewan are against nuclear power.

At a press conference held at the Saskatchewan Legislature on April 17, 2009, Elizabeth May, the Leader of the Green Party of Canada said the following about the Uranium Development Partnership Report:
“The so-called environmental rep on the Uranium Development Partnership is a paid lobbyist for the nuclear industry. This is a sham. This is not the report on which government should base decisions. This is the equivalent of a report from lobbyists telling government how they want them to spend their money. This isn't the fox guarding the chicken coops. This is the fox report recommending how the chicken coops can best be consumed by the foxes.”
Elizabeth May said she was also disappointed that the report “never even bothered to look at alternatives.”

Climate Change: “a political certainty”

At a lecture at the University of Regina Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy on June 18, 2009, Dr. Florizone said that climate change has become a political reality and that the adoption of carbon pricing is now being viewed as a political certainty. The UDP Report uses climate change as a justification for nuclear power in Saskatchewan. Even if we did not export the nuclear power to Alberta for production of the tar sands as the authors of the UDP Report propose, nuclear power is not capable of having a big enough impact to make little more than a dent in the fight against climate change. Plus, the radioactive waste we would be left with for hundreds of thousands of years is not only bound to have devastating long-term health and ecological consequences, it would also put the people of Saskatchewan and surrounding areas in great danger in times of war.

There is a great amount of public miseducation about nuclear power amongst the people of Saskatchewan. For many, their knowledge of nuclear power been obtained from the uranium industry itself in large, overly simplistic, and incredibly misleading adverstisements and billboards. I am horrified by the amount of people that think nuclear is clean and green. It would be extremely dangerous to call a referendum on this issue any time in the near future due to the lack of balanced education the public has been exposed to about the benefits of nuclear versus the risks. Infact, the public can not be properly educated about the risks until the Government of Saskatchewan funds and makes public independant studies into the health and public safety risks and the environmental impact of nuclear power and uranium mining. How could the public possibly make an informed decision on the issue of nuclear power in Saskatchewan without knowing what the risks are? For that matter, how can $3 million be spent on a feasibility study without consideration of the environmental and health/public safety impacts of the initiatives proposed by the UDP?

The Government of Saskatchewan has a duty to end the public “miseducation” on nuclear power and uranium mining.

For example, nuclear power is NOT emissions free. Large quantities of greenhouse gases are produced in the mining and refining of uranium as well as during the long construction period of the power plant.

Each gigawatt of nuclear energy requires 170 tonnes of uranium. When the uranium is processed into fuel, 250,000 tonnes of carbon are emitted for every 1000 megawatts produced. Nuclear energy produces huge amounts of greenhouse gases. Recent studies also note that once the current high-grade uranium deposits are depleted, carbon emissions will greatly increase as low quality ores have to be refined.[1]

Renewable energy is relatively inexpensive, and its technical challenges are dwarfed by those of nuclear power, which, after more than half a century, still has no way to store its radioactive waste that remains toxic for one million years!


It is incredibly misleading to use climate change as a justification for nuclear power in Saskatchewan when the UDP proposes exporting 4-5000 MW of electricity to Alberta for tar sands production. The Alberta Tar Sands have recently been deemed the “most destructive project on earth” by Environmental Defence Canada[2] because the tar sands will single-handedly make it impossible for Canada to lower greenhouse gas emissions anywhere near what is needed to meet international Kyoto targets.[3] Using nuclear power for tar sands production would actually be taking us closer to the “tipping point” of climate change catastrophe.

At Dr. Florizone’s lecture at the University of Regina Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy on June 18, 2009, Dr. Florizone said that nuclear “only becomes cost competitive when you have carbon pricing.” The first problem with this statement is that we do not have carbon pricing in Saskatchewan yet. Carbon pricing is not being proposed by the SaskParty Government, and as a student of political science, I do not expect it to be proposed by either the SaskParty or the NDP in the next election. Many would say proposing the carbon tax in the last federal election single-handedly lost the election for the Liberals. There does not appear to be much support for the carbon tax from either Stephen Harper or Brad Wall. If nuclear only becomes cost competitive when you have carbon pricing, then nuclear is not cost competitive in Saskatchewan at this time.

Furthermore, the purpose of the carbon tax is to make polluting less attractive. Considering the toxic radioactive waste pollution of nuclear power that cannot be stored, treated, or disposed of safely, it is completely unacceptable for the carbon tax to be leveraged as incentive for expansion of the uranium industry. Government will never be able to successfully implement solutions to climate change if they allow large final emitters to find innovative ways out of the carbon tax while actually profiting from it. Take the University of Regina Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) for example. The PTRC researches carbon sequestration, and the PTRC is heavily funded by large international oil companies who plan to use carbon sequestration for enhanced oil recovery. They plan to pump the sequestered carbon into dried up oil wells to change the viscosity of the dried up oil so they can pump thirty more years of oil out of the ground. Large oil companies are investing huge amounts of money into carbon sequestration at the PTRC so that if any money is lost due to a carbon tax increasing the cost of gas, they can compensate for this loss of profits by increasing their supply of oil through enhanced oil recovery. This is another case of an unacceptable abuse of a tax on carbon, which is a tool designed to reduce pollution. The carbon tax is not intended to fuel nuclear expansion or enhanced oil recovery.

The UDP Report would head us in the wrong direction. We need green energy jobs, energy conservation, and renewable energy technologies. We need to start building a sustainable energy future.

According to Ecological Economist William Rees, “there is general agreement that no development path is sustainable if it depends on the exhaustion of productive assets.”[4] Rees argues that since “human-made capital is made from natural capital and requires natural capital to function, … natural capital is prerequisite to manufactured capital.”[5] The economy is dependant upon the environment for natural capital. If natural capital is exhausted, productive assets will be also. Long-term economic sustainability can not be secured without adressing the environmental crisis and focusing on sustaining nature first.

It’s called ecological wisdom. Ecological Wisdom is a key guiding principle of the Green Party of Saskatchewan.[6]

Just because we won the lottery by living in Saskatchewan doesn’t mean we have to spend all of our winnings in one generation. If we continue to be heavily reliant on extraction and exportation of non-renewable resources, what will be left of our province when these resources run out? What will be left for the people who live here?

COST:
“Spending billions of dollars on costly nuclear power would rob Saskatchewan of the chance to go green with clean and safe energy through increased energy conservation and renewable energy technologies. We only get one chance to fight climate change. This is our chance to go green and to go renewable.”
- Larissa Shasko, Leader of the Green Party of Saskatchewan

"The industry doesn't make sense. It will never survive without tremendous government subsidies," -
Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada

Nuclear “only becomes cost competitive when you have carbon pricing.”
- Dr. Florizone, June 18/09, U of R

The Green Party believes that energy choices should be economically rational. The best energy choices to respond to the climate crisis should be those that deliver the greatest reduction of GHG per dollar invested. By this criterion, nuclear energy is among the very worst options. Reactors cost billions of dollars, take more than a decade to build, operate unreliably after about the first dozen years of operation, and only produce one type of energy: electricity. Even if the industry were “green and clean” as claimed by the pro-nuclear propaganda efforts, it fails on the economics. Nevertheless, it is neither clean nor green.

Is Nuclear safe?
In addition to the risks of radioactive leaks and nuclear accidents, nuclear energy has an inevitable link to nuclear weapons proliferation. India made its first bomb from spent fuel from a CANDU reactor. As well, depleted uranium waste is increasingly and routinely used to coat bullets and missiles in “conventional” warfare, leaving a legacy of radioactive contamination as an on-going health and environmental threat to civilians post-conflict.
A reactor’s fuel rods, pipes, tanks, and valves can leak. Mechanical failure and human error can also cause leaks. As a nuclear plant ages, so does the equipment, and leaks generally increase.
It doesn’t take an accident for a nuclear power plant to release radioactivity into our air, water and soil. All it takes is the plant’s everyday routine operation, and federal regulations permit these radioactive releases.

It is scientifically established that low-level radiation damages tissues, cells, DNA, and other vital molecules causing programmed cell death (apoptosis), genetic mutations, cancers, leukemia, birth defects, and reproductive, immune, and endocrine system disorders.

A recent study commissioned by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection in Germany and made public on December 10th, 2007 examined cancer rates in young children between 1980 and 2003.[7] It showed a 60% increase in solid cancers and a 117% increase in leukemia among children up to five years of age living within 5 km of 16 German nuclear reactors. It also found a 20 to 40% increase for all cancers in children living within a 50 km radius of the plants. These nuclear power plants were operating under normal conditions, with radiation releases well within levels allowed for civilian populations.[8]
This new evidence from Germany of an association between increased cancers and proximity to nuclear facilities raises difficult questions. Should pregnant women and young children be advised to move away from them? Should local residents eat vegetables from their gardens? And, crucially, shouldn't those governments around the world who are planning to build more reactors think again?


Remember Chernobyl?

I was only four years of age when Chernobyl happened, and even I remember Chernobyl. I remember it with fear.

Chernobyl: April 26th, 1986 - the world’s worst nuclear accident.

Chernobyl is located 80 miles Northwest of Kiev, the ancient capital of the Ukraine.

A routine test went wrong setting up a chain reaction, creating an explosion that blew off the reactor’s 1000 tonne steel and concrete lid.
It spewed out atleast 200 times more radiation than the bombing of Hiroshima. 600,000 clean-up workers were sent in. The first set of clean-up workers died within a few hours from radiation burns. Thousands of children and adults were stricken with radiation sickness, leukemia, and cancer.
Over 4.6 million hectares of agricultural land in the Ukraine was contaminated. Thousands of people have died as a result of Chernobyl. The victims of Chernobyl are still being born today.
Infant mortality in the Ukraine stands at twice the European average.
There has also been an increase of sterility in parents plus an increase in genetic damage and congenital deformities among their offspring.

Source: The Problem with Nuclear is the Danger of Accidents and Near Accidents (booklet), Compiled by Bill Adamson, Member, ICUCEC, Inter Church Uranium Committee Educational Co-operative, October 2008.


“First-of-a-kind risk”

Nuclear power plants of the type proposed for Saskatchewan are not in operation now, nor have they ever been tested anywhere. A precursor of AECL’s ARC-1000 (ARC-700) was withdrawn from U.S. licensing after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) predicted design/safety issues. (The NRC believes that during a loss-of-coolant-accident, power would surge rather than decrease.) Do Saskatchewan people want to be the subjects of a nuclear safety experiment?


At Dr. Florizone’s recent lecture at the University of Regina Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy on June 18, 2009, Dr. Florizone pointed to how Ontario has just decided to go forward with one of the reactor models proposed by the UDP for Saskatchewan. What he said was both shocking and horrifying. Dr. Florizone spoke of the “first of a kind risk” involved with a nuclear reactor that has never been tested before, and he said that “now we can learn from Ontario’s mistakes.” I do not think this is an acceptable statement for the UDP to be using as a selling point considering I have many young friends who live in Ontario, and they do not want to be the subjects of a nuclear safety experiment either. Why wasn’t the UDP talking about this “first of a kind risk” before Ontario approved the model that we could have been building first?

No insurance company in the world will insure nuclear power plants. If they are insured, it is by governments. In Canada, they are not insured.


Medical isotopes can be made without nuclear fission.

Although many radio-isotopes used in industry, medicine and scientific research can be produced inside a nuclear reactor, most of them (and many more besides) can also be produced inside a particle accelerator such as a cyclotron. Thus, even if there were no nuclear reactors in existence, there would continue to be an extensive use of a wide variety of artificial radio-isotopes produced in accelerators.

Although accelerators do create small quantities of lingering radioactivity, they do not pose the staggering high-level waste and proliferation problems associated with nuclear reactors, nor do they have any potential for catastrophic accidents of any kind, nor are they capable of producing weapons materials in militarily significant amounts.[9]

The market for cobalt-60 -- one of the major radio-isotopes currently produced in Canada is not expanding, but shrinking -- as a result of which AECL has had to lay off (in recent years) many hundreds of workers associated with cobalt-60 production. As safer alternative technologies take over and as even safer alternatives are developed, the use of cobalt-60 may be phased out altogether.[10]

It is seriously misleading to state that nuclear medicine or the use of radiation in industry and in scientific research depends in any essential way upon nuclear reactors. Such uses existed long before the first nuclear reactors were built and will continue to exist long after the last reactor is shut down.

The Green Party of Saskatchewan takes the position that medical isotopes are too important to rely on unreliable nuclear reactors for their production.

Recently, Thomas Ruth, a research scientist at Canada’s national particle and nuclear physics laboratory called on the federal government to look into ways of delivering radioactive medical isotopes without the need for nuclear reactors. According to Ruth, using nuclear reactors to the produce medical isotopes has not been able to meet the demands of hospitals.[11]

What’s the Rush?

Considering the long period of construction (which usually takes even longer than anticipated) and the overwhelming opposition from the people of Saskatchewan who have participated in the public consultation process, this is not a decision that should be rushed into by government. So, what is the rush? Isn’t a worldwide recession an incredibly bad time to be rushing into an enormous capital project? Many people who voted for the SaskParty in the last election did not know that the Government they voted in had plans to build a nuclear reactor and a nuclear fuel waste dump in Saskatchewan. The SaskParty was not talking about these plans during the last election, and the NDP was not either. The Green Party was the only party to raise the issue of nuclear power in the last election, and although we raised the issue repeatedly, the media were not willing to talk about nuclear in their election coverage, and the other political parties avoided questions on the subject. The issue has been kept out of the public eye during the planning phase, and now that it is in the public eye, this process has been so sped up that I’m worried many people in Saskatchewan will not even know about plans to build a nuclear reactor before the government makes their decision. I continue to talk to Saskatchewan people everyday who have not heard anything about the public consultations or the government’s plans, and the consultation process is nearly over! Furthermore, why were public consultations held at a time of year that is particularly bad for both post-secondary students and farmers?

The public is calling for feasibility studies into energy conservation and renewable energy choices before any decision on the energy future of Saskatchewan is made. The mandate of the UDP was simply to look at nuclear and uranium. They did not even consider the other options. When all the options are weighed equally (including renewable energy sources and energy conservation), the high cost, environmental impact, and public safety risks of nuclear power become extremely unattractive. The nuclear debate has exposed the long overdue need for energy conservation and renewable energy in Saskatchewan.

Due to the serious conflict of interest that exists for many members of the UDP, the absence of any recognized representative of the environmental community, and the complete absence of gender balance among the members of the UDP (twelve men and no women), the findings of the UDP Report are seriously misleading and are not representative of the citizens of this province, nor are the findings of the UDP Report in the best interest of the citizens of this province.


The Green Party of Saskatchewan is calling upon the Government of Saskatchewan to immediately fund and make public independent studies on the environmental and public safety risks of uranium mining and nuclear power, and we join the people of Saskatchewan in calling for full feasibility studies into energy conservation and renewable energy technologies before any decision on the energy future of Saskatchewan is made.


The Green Party of Saskatchewan opposes the location of any nuclear fuel waste dump in Saskatchewan, and we oppose any plans to build a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan.



[1] Source: Vision Green http://www.greenparty.ca/en/policy/visiongreen/partone#_Toc179815139
[2] See http://www.environmentaldefence.ca/reports/pdf/TarSands_TheReport.pdf
[3] This is why Harper and Wall have chosen intensity based targets for GHG emissions instead of actual reduction targets
[4] See Achieving Sustainability: Reform or Transformation? http://jpl.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/9/4/343. William E. Rees.Journal of Planning Literature, May 1995; vol. 9: pp. 343 – 361.
[5] See Achieving Sustainability: Reform or Transformation? http://jpl.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/9/4/343. William E. Rees.Journal of Planning Literature, May 1995; vol. 9: pp. 343 – 361.
[6] GPS Statement of Principles: Ecological WisdomHuman societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society that utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture that replenishes the soil, move to an energy efficient economy and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.
[7] For more information on the KiKK study, see this summarized report at http://tekknorg.wordpress.com/2007/12/17/german-kikk-study-higher-cancer-risc-next-to-atomic-power-plants-unofficial-belarussian-children-cancer-data/.
[8] The full report can be downloaded in German at http://www.bfs.de/en/bfs/druck/Ufoplan/4334_KIKK.htm.
[9]Source: http://www.ccnr.org/isotopes.html
[10] Source: http://www.ccnr.org/isotopes.html
[11] Source: http://www.laka.org/info/publicaties/2009-heu.pdf



http://www.greenpartysask.ca/

Nuclear and uranium policy from the 2007 "Green Book":

The Green Party of Saskatchewan is opposed to nuclear power for the following reasons:

Nuclear power is fiscally unsound. The last nuclear power plant in Canada came in seven times over budget, costing $14 billion dollars. This does not include the high cost involved in decommissioning old power plants.

Nuclear waste cannot be stored, treated, or disposed of safely.
A large amount of radioactive tailings accumulate as a result of uranium mining. These tailings can leak into groundwater and affect the surrounding area, leading to increased cancer rates.
Depleted uranium ends up in weapons such as missiles and anti-tank bullets.
Nuclear power is NOT emissions free. Large quantities of greenhouse gases are produced in the mining and refining of uranium as well as during the long construction period of the power plant.
We will phase out uranium mining in Saskatchewan, compensating those affected during transition.

Green Party of Saskatchewan Nuclear / Uranium Policy Resolutions 1998-2007 (submitted and voted on by Green Party of Saskatchewan members):
1999.3. Uranium Mining: That northern Saskatchewan land claims with Aboriginal First Nations be given priority, and that a settlement giving First Nations control over northern resources be immediately negotiated. That a revenue sharing scheme between northern communities and mining companies operating in the north be immediately negotiated; if negotiations are not concluded in a timely manner, that such a scheme be legislated directly. That present environmental regulations around mining operations be aggressively monitored and enforced by Environment Department officials. That a full public inquiry be held into the end uses of Saskatchewan uranium. That provincial royalty rates on Saskatchewan mineral resources be raised to reflect the mining infrastructure costs incurred by the public over the last three decades. That taxation policy on mining companies be reviewed. That no new uranium mines be licensed to operate in this province. That present uranium mines be phased-out as new jobs are found for displaced workers.
1999.6. Nuclear Power The Green Party of Saskatchewan resolves: That no further provincial money be spent on nuclear power. The provincial government further directs all Department, Agencies and Crown Corporations to abandon any proposals to develop nuclear power programs for the Province. That the province direct all Departments, Agencies and Crown Corporations to categorically refuse to partner themselves in any way with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). That the province pass legislation prohibiting the transportation and/or storage of nuclear reactor waste across or within provincial boundaries
2003.29. Support United Nations disarmament effortsBE IT RESOLVED that the GPS will work with other interested groups to press the federal government to present a resolution to the UN General Assembly with the following objectives:a. To empower the UN to permanently employ international teams of weapons inspectors who are mandated to search for and destroy all weapons of mass destruction found in any national territory, and who will report to the UN General Assembly any cases of non-compliance with this resolutionb. To end all cultural, economic and political ties with any nation that continues to produce or maintain within its borders biological, chemical and/or nuclear weapons.
2006.11 Opposition to Uranium/ Nuclear in SaskatchewanBe it resolved that the GPS executive reaffirm our position to strongly oppose the development of the uranium mining and nuclear industry in Saskatchewan.
2007.10 Canada’s role regarding improper use of uraniumBe It Resolved, that the Green Party of Saskatchewan will lobby the federal government to enforce the non-proliferation treaty and discontinue the illegal sale of uranium to any country that uses it for nuclear weapons or depleted uranium weapons.
Platform 2003:
A Green Party of Saskatchewan government will oppose the location of any nuclear fuel waste dump in Saskatchewan and opposes any plans to build a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan. The mining of uranium will be quickly phased out with a just transition for affected workers. A Green Party of Saskatchewan government will hold uranium mining companies accountable for cleanup of mining sites. Exports of uranium to countries with nuclear weapons and Depleted Uranium weapons will be halted immediately.