Questionable Faith Environmentalists are linking up with unionists and other critics to oppose the Free Trade Agreement and force the Federal Tories to hold an election. (1988)

Questionable Faith   Environmentalists are linking up with unionists and other critics to oppose the Free Trade Agreement and force the Federal Tories to hold an election. By David McRobert The cover of the January 1988 Progressive Conservative Youth Newsletter encapsulates the debate over free trade with prophetic accuracy. In a front page article titled “Free Trade: A Question of Faith,” the conventional wisdom espoused by the federal Tories is …continue…

On MESsy Relationships and Other Paradoxes in the Faculty of Environmental Studies (1984)

On MESsy Relationships and Other Paradoxes in the Faculty of Environmental Studies     In the last issue of The Squirrel, Ann Joyner, Barry Stern and Mary Shales raised some interesting points on disciplinary and interdisciplinary work in the Faculty and the tendency for some students to stereotype others as planners or managers. As one of those students who admittedly had demonstrated this tendency in the past and I would …continue…

On global warming, Canada is full of hot air Shouldn’t this country do something to justify its international reputation by getting serious about greenhouse gases? (1991)

STANDARDS  /   Shouldn’t this country do something to justify its international reputation by getting serious about greenhouse gases? On global warming, Canada is full of hot air By David McRobert Canada has worked hard over the past few decades to portray itself as an international leader on environmental issues, and a recently released U.S. government pamphlet confirms that, when it comes to global warming, Canada does indeed lead the world. Unfortunately, …continue…

Not a Sentimental Journey: What’s behind the VIA Rail Cuts, What You Can Do About It. (1991)

Review Not a Sentimental Journey: What’s Behind the VIA RAIL Cuts, What You Can do About It Edited by Jo Davis, Waterloo, Ont., Gunbyfield Publishing; 240 pp., $9.95. Reviewed by David McRobert This book is the first publication of the Turnaround Decade Group, an organization conceived at a provocative conference sponsored by the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER) in Waterloo, Ontario in mid-August 1989 and titled “Financing the …continue…

How Industry and Government Strangled Canada’s Smog Plan (1991)

How Industry and Government Strangled Canada’s Smog Plan By David McRobert   Every summer, more than 12 million Canadians are exposed to dangerous air pollutants. One of the worst of these is ground-level ozone, a health threatening substance formed when emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) combine in the presence of sunlight. A major component of urban smog, ground-level ozone pollution in Canada has increased in …continue…

Hard Choices: A Life of Tom Berger (1987)

    Hard Choices: A Life of Tom Berger. By Carolyn Swayze (1987). Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre. 237 pp., $24.95 (HC).  Reviewed by David McRobertDuring the mid-1970s Tom Berger attained folk hero status in Canadian media, academic and political circles when he headed a federal commission established to examine the possible effects of construction of a pipeline through the Mackenzie Valley on the northern environment and native peoples. The fruits …continue…

Green Politics in Canada: The jury is still out on the future of the Canadian Greens (1985)

Green Politics in Canada The jury is still out on the future of the Canadian Greens by David McRobert In February 1983, a new era began in Canadian politics. Approximately 200 British Columbia environmentalists and peace activists formed an organization under the rubric of the “Green Party” and announced that they intended to contest several seats in the upcoming provincial election. Not to be outdone by their B.C. counterparts, a …continue…

Fair Trade: Reform and Realities in the International Trading System (1994)

Fair Trade: Reform and Realities in the International Trading System by Michael Barratt Brown London and New Jersey: Zed Books, 1993. Paperback, 226 pp., $21.95. Reviewed by David McRobert “Just remember every time you swallow a cup of coffee made from the beans purchased for pennies by those multinational food conglomerates you are drinking the blood of the peasants of Central and South America.”  In the 1980s I would offer …continue…

A Poison Stronger Than Love: The Destruction of an Ojibwa Community. (1985)

Book Review A Poison Stronger Than Love: The Destruction of an Ojibwa Community. Anastasia M. Shkilnyk, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985: 274 pp. $12.95 Reviewed by David McRobert In a celebrated essay, Gad Horowitz once observed that liberal thought in Canada has been either anemic or parasitic. Arguably, this comment aptly applies to the dozens of Ph.D. and Master theses on the “Indian Problem” that have been written by …continue…

A Dismal Response: We must respond more adequately to the global challenge of the World Conservation Strategy we helped to launch and then neglected. (1986)

A Dismal Response We must respond more adequately to the global challenge of the World Conservation Strategy we helped to launch and then neglected. By David McRobert One of the first actions taken by the former federal Minister of the Environment, John Roberts, after he was appointed to the position by Trudeau in the Fall of 1981, was to endorse a little-known document called the World Conservation Strategy. Roberts went …continue…