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Some MPs are warning the parliamentary work load is going to kill someone

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Some MP's warn parliamentary workload is deadly

OTTAWA — Some MPs are warning the high-stress, high-stakes environment of politics coupled with relentless work schedules and bouts of politically motivated marathon voting and debating sessions are one day going to kill someone.

Winnipeg MP Kevin Lamoureux, who has been an MP for nine years and served as the Liberal’s deputy house leader since the last election, says all parties should figure out a better way for opposition parties to make themselves effective than triggering 30-hour voting marathons like one that occurred in March.

“I believe it’s only a question of time before someone will in fact die from it,” Lamoureux says. “It’s insane and completely irresponsible.”

Lamoureux has been an elected politician for 25 of the last 29 years, mostly in the Manitoba legislature, and spent all but the last four in opposition. He says he knows the frustration of opposition parties trying to keep a majority government from ramming through controversial bills but that no other workplace would tolerate forcing people to be awake for that long.

He says he knows at least one MP, whom he wouldn’t name, whose health prevented him from participating. Others resorted to wearing diapers to help get them through the night.

Outgoing MP Tony Clement, who was a high-ranking Conservative until he got caught emailing and texting explicit digital images of himself last fall, says nobody knows better than he does how the pressures of political life can contribute to making bad decisions.

“I know no one is going to get out the tissue-box for politicians,” says Clement. “But people are going to commit suicide. People are going to die before their time. People are going to make horrendous personal mistakes and I can obviously speak from personal experience on that one.”

For Clement it’s much more than just overnight voting. It’s the “near-constant online harassment and online judgement,” the non-stop hours of work, constant travel, high-stress decisions and the anxiety that comes from knowing how tenuous your job is.

Clement points to a recent British Medical Journal survey of United Kingdom MPs that found more than one-third suffered from at least one mental-health problem, compared to about one-quarter of the British population as a whole. Anxiety and depression were the most common. He says he would expect similar results if Canadian MPs were surveyed.

Clement says pressure to get re-elected and partisanship mean any time one party raises an idea such as eliminating Friday sittings or limiting evening sittings to make work-life balance easier, MPs in other parties scorn it, so nothing ever changes.

Both Clement and Lamoureux say the overnight votes should stop but that taking them away would require giving opposition parties some other way to get in the government’s face when a controversial issue has arisen.

The March voting marathon — 30 hours of consecutive votes on 257 motions to oppose government spending plans — was done so the Conservatives could express their displeasure with the government’s refusal to continue a House of Commons committee probe of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

It was the third time in the current term of Parliament that MPs were up all night for votes. A relatively easy 12-hour session took place in June 2018 when the Conservatives were protesting the cost of the carbon tax. A 21-hour voting marathon took place in March 2018 when the Conservatives wanted to get the Liberals to let Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national-security adviser testify at a committee about the invitation given to a convicted terrorist for a reception during Trudeau’s trip to India.

In the previous Parliament, the NDP and Liberals forced 22 hours of voting on the Conservative government’s budget bill to express displeasure over changes to environmental laws.

Clement says he isn’t sure what the answer is. Lamoureux says governments could be forced to introduce legislation by certain deadlines to ensure a minimum amount of debating time, and opposition parties could be given a way to delay bills for a period of time.

He also believes there should be a parallel Commons chamber created to allow additional debating time for private members’ bills, which would add some heft to the influence non-cabinet ministers have in Parliament.

Private members’ bills are from MPs who are not in cabinet but there is less time in the schedule for debating them. Many die on the vine, simply never reaching final votes. In this Parliament only 10 of 269 private members’ bills passed. In the last Parliament, 19 of 458 private members’ bills got through.

Liberal Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who has a young child, says overnight votes are rare but that evening votes, which keep MPs with young families at work long into the evening, are also problematic. He said moving votes to the daytime would go a long way to encouraging a better balance. It also could encourage more young people, a more diverse population, to seek election.

He says the best time for this to be addressed is at the start of the next Parliament after the election, when the routine is to debate the rules that govern house procedures.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press


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Energy

Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE) promotes collaborative frameworks for renewable energy, energy efficiency, advanced energy systems and green energy infrastructure

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Indigenous communities across the country have a growing capacity to deliver energy projects that deliver clean, affordable and reliable power to their communities, and into the grid, thus generating jobs and revenue.

Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE) is the national platform for Indigenous communities to promote collaborative frameworks for renewable energy, energy efficiency, advanced energy systems and green energy infrastructure. ICE has cross-Canada relationships amongst Indigenous communities, along with a demonstrated track record of accomplishment in capacity-building, project/organizational collaboration, and clean energy cooperation.

Initiatives, such as the Indigenous Energy Across Canada Compendium demonstrates how the relationships have evolved in the last decade between industry, and the Indigenous People in Canada.

Indigenous communities are already major participants and owners of clean energy projects and businesses comprised of 184 medium-large scale projects in hydro, wind, solar, or biomass, and over 2,300 small renewable energy projects. Projects owned, or co-owned, by Indigenous communities, or with a defined financial benefit agreement represent a total of 18% of Canada’s electricity generating capacity, which is approximately one of sixth of the electrons consumed in Canada.

While the energy sector is broad and shifting towards more innovation in energy transition, there is still much to do in terms of sharing opportunities and building capacity for Indigenous communities. Capacity building programs include the award winning 20/20 Catalysts Program, which has an alumni of 82 Catalysts and has empowered First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities to drive forward clean energy projects and initiatives in their communities. Working collaboratively with the guidance of Indigenous leaders and clean energy practitioners from across the country, catalysts gain the skills and tools needed to maximize the social and economic benefits communities gain through clean energy initiatives. A result of ongoing dialogue with communities the need to act on housing and community energy efficiency to make energy more affordable, improve health conditions, and establish new and ongoing jobs. ICE has responded to this by creating a new program Bringing it Home. (BiH) The premise of BiH is that ‘Healthy Energy Living’ in Indigenous communities can be unlocked through synergy between clean energy and sustainable investment to ensure that homes: a) last longer, b) are more durable and healthier, and c) are cheaper to operate over the short and longer term.

Platforms such as the icenet.work allow the growing community of Indigenous clean energy leaders, to further collaborate with clean energy industry and governments on clean energy projects, access to financial capital for clean energy infrastructure, and share project and business experiences internationally.

Indigenous inclusion in Canada’s growing clean energy, and clean growth economy is a force for change, and partnering with First Nations, Inuit and Métis is the way forward.

By Terri Lynn Morrison, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications, Indigenous Clean Energy

 

Thanks to Todayville for helping us bring our members’ stories of collaboration and innovation to the public.

Click to read a foreward from JP Gladu, Chief Development and Relations Officer, Steel River Group; Former President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

JP Gladu, Chief Development and Relations Officer, Steel River Group; Former President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Click to read comments about this series from Jacob Irving, President of the Energy Council of Canada.

Jacob Irving, President of Energy Council of Canada

The Canadian Energy Compendium is an annual initiative by the Energy Council of Canada to provide an opportunity for cross-sectoral collaboration and discussion on current topics in Canada’s energy sector.  The 2020 Canadian Energy Compendium: Innovations in Energy Efficiency is due to be released November 2020.

 

Click below to read more stories from Energy Council of Canada’s Compendium series.

Read more on Todayville.

Hydro-Québec takes partnerships, environmental measures and sharing of wealth to new levels

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Business

INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION IS IMPORTANT TO THE CANADIAN WIND ENERGY INDUSTRY, WITH OVER 35 COMMUNITIES ALREADY BENEFITTING FROM WIND PROJECTS

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INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION IS IMPORTANT TO THE CANADIAN WIND ENERGY INDUSTRY, WITH OVER 35 COMMUNITIES ALREADY BENEFITTING FROM WIND PROJECTS

This article was written in 2019, prior to the July 1, 2020, creation of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, which joined CanWEA with the Canadian Solar Industries Association.

Canada’s wind energy industry has been involved with and benefited over 35 Indigenous communities in the country. As the voice of the industry, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has been a supporter of Indigenous participation in Canadian wind projects. One of the ways that CanWEA has been active is by being a “Clean Energy Collaborator” with the innovative 20/20 Catalysts Program, which supports clean energy development in Indigenous communities. An example of this collaboration has included working with Catalysts like Chantelle Cardinal (2018 cohort) on convening Indigenous leaders at CanWEA events to enable meaningful discussions about the obstacles and opportunities for Indigenous involvement in wind energy projects. This collaboration is important, since “many of Alberta’s Indigenous communities are focused on opportunities to participate in the clean energy development occurring in their Traditional Territory and to creating opportunity on Reserve and on Settlement lands,” as Ms. Cardinal told CanWEA’s 2019 Spring Forum in Banff, Alberta. In recognition of the effectiveness of the 20/20 Catalysts Program, CanWEA honoured the program with its 2018 Group Leadership Award, which recognizes visionary leaders and clean energy pioneers for their outstanding contribution to the Canadian wind industry.

Canada’s wind energy industry has been involved with and benefited over 35 Indigenous communities in the country.

As the voice of the industry, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has been a supporter of Indigenous participation in Canadian wind projects. One of the ways that CanWEA has been active is by being a “Clean Energy Collaborator” with the innovative 20/20 Catalysts Program, which supports clean energy development in Indigenous communities.

Chantelle Cardinal, a Saddle Lake Band member from Whitefish Lake #128 and a Catalyst from the 2018 cohort, is one of the Catalysts with whom CanWEA has been working on convening Indigenous leaders at CanWEA events to enable meaningful discussions about the obstacles and opportunities for Indigenous involvement in wind energy projects in Alberta. She has been working with First Nations in Alberta for over 14 years and is currently the Director of Business Development & Environment for the G4 (Stoney Nakoda-Tsuut’ina Tribal Council).

Effective Indigenous and public engagement are cornerstones for successful wind energy development. CanWEA has developed Best Practices for Indigenous and Public Engagement to help industry members consult, engage and communicate on wind energy developments.

“Many of Alberta’s Indigenous communities are focused  on  opportunities  to participate in the clean energy development occurring in their Traditional Territory and to creating opportunity on Reserve and on Settlement lands,” Ms. Cardinal told CanWEA’s 2019 Spring Forum in Banff, Alberta. “Wind energy projects across Canada have demonstrated exemplary, mutually-beneficial partnerships with Indigenous peoples. From community involvement and investment, to contracts and long-term employment, these partnerships are blazing a new trail for how to facilitate collaborative Indigenous engagement and access this country’s vast renewable resources.”          

At the Spring Forum, she led an Indigenous panel discussion on the strengths, benefits and lessons from Indigenous participation in wind energy developments. A key point was that clean energy projects can contribute to energy and economic sovereignty  for Indigenous communities.

In recognition of its successes, CanWEA awarded the 20/20 Catalysts Program with its 2018 Group Leadership Award, which recognizes visionary leaders and clean energy pioneers for their outstanding contribution to the Canadian wind industry. (This story was written in 2019, prior to the creation of Canadian Renewable Energy Association).

Thanks to Todayville for helping us bring our members’ stories of collaboration and innovation to the public.

Click to read a foreward from JP Gladu, Chief Development and Relations Officer, Steel River Group; Former President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

JP Gladu, Chief Development and Relations Officer, Steel River Group; Former President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Click to read comments about this series from Jacob Irving, President of the Energy Council of Canada.

Jacob Irving, President of Energy Council of Canada

The Canadian Energy Compendium is an annual initiative by the Energy Council of Canada to provide an opportunity for cross-sectoral collaboration and discussion on current topics in Canada’s energy sector.  The 2020 Canadian Energy Compendium: Innovations in Energy Efficiency is due to be released November 2020.

 

Click below to read more stories from Energy Council of Canada’s Compendium series.

Read more on Todayville.

INDUSTRY-INDIGENOUS RELATIONS: A TREND TOWARD DEEPER ENGAGEMENT

ECONOMIC RECONCILIATION IS A PRIORITY AT ENBRIDGE

 

 

 

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