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Damage must stop to Eastern Slopes

There’s a “perfect storm” brewing along of our precious Eastern Slopes at the hands of off-highway vehicle drivers recklessly opening up deep wounds in the environmentally fragile landscapes.

A conservation group has sounded the alarm, and warned that unless the provincial government puts the brakes on unregulated access to these forests, pristine rivers and vulnerable watersheds “immediately,” we are courting a tsunami of devastation beyond recovery. And that’s not over-stating the dilemma. READ

Ready for the inevitable

Of course, I have no insider’s access and I do not know what is said in cabinet meetings, but I suspect the Harper government already has a team of civil servants drafting a law to allow suffering and dying patients to request the help of a doctor to ease and aid their death. READ

Punishment fits crime

The case of self-admitted “arrogant pissant” Justin Bourque signals a new era for Canada’s criminal justice system, which now has the power to lock up killers and throw away the keys. READ

Tories defy democracy

There was little doubt the federal government would approve the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project, regardless of public opposition or evidence presented against it. READ

A transit system travesty

The Advocate article on Tuesday said Red Deer is the largest city in Alberta that has no program for a lower-cost transit pass for low-income and disabled people. While that is true as far as it goes, the reality behind this is actually worse. READ

The time to act on climate change is now

Because we enjoy relatively pure air, clean water and healthy food systems, Canadians sometimes take the environment for granted. Many scarcely blink if oil from a pipeline spills into a river, a forest is cleared for tar sands operations or agricultural land is fracked for gas. If Arctic ice melts and part of the Antarctic ice sheet collapses, well… they’re far away. READ

Waiting on another coup in Thailand

If you are trying to get rid of the legitimately elected government of your country, it helps to have the Constitutional Court, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and the Election Commission on your side. And Thailand’s Constitutional Court has come through for the opposition once again: it has just ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and nine of her cabinet ministers for improperly removing a civil servant from office. READ

Who will take charge of climate change?

It’s fitting that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was released during Earth Month. After all, the third chapter of its Fifth Assessment focuses on ways to keep our planet healthy and livable by warding off extreme climatic shifts and weather events caused by escalating atmospheric carbon. READ

Profitable pot revolution

When actors Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper hit the road on their choppers in the counterculture film Easy Rider, they cruised onto the big screen at the heart of the rise of recreational drug use, with marijuana at its epicentre. READ

Retirement concerns are exaggerated in Canada

With talks to expand the Canada Pension Plan having stalled, the Ontario government has pledged to roll out its own provincial version. READ

Canadian workers first

Almost 30 years at her job apparently wasn’t enough to prevent Sandy Nelson from being replaced by the Harper government’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. READ

Queue jumping inquiry a waste

On Wednesday, Justice John Vertes released his Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry Report on allegations of health-care queue jumping in Alberta. READ

How people can adopt you with kindness — and rum pie

Have you ever met someone who made a surprisingly positive and important difference in your life? Did she make you rum pie? READ

Canada's internet is slow, costly and under-used

Canada seems to be missing the boat when it comes to participation in the Internet economy. READ

Head in the clouds, feet in ****

Federal Defence Minister Peter MacKay cost Canadian taxpayers $16,000 for a 25-minute aerial joyride rather than take a two-hour trip to an airport. READ

When you're not on the snow you love, love the snow you're on

Europe breathed a sigh of relief this week as the Alps received 75 cm of snow following a warm spell that rendered many of Europe’s most popular ski resorts inoperative. As an avid Canadian snow sport enthusiast, these meteorological failings reminded me of the winter wonderland that almost always awaits at the famed Sunshine and Lake Louise resorts. READ

When messages were about quick brown foxes

Some people think it’s the best thing since getting a Business Degree off the Interweb, others believe it’s a clear indication that the wholesome, simple life has gone the way of the inkwell. READ

Losing grip on cultural leadership

Red Deer was among the first cities to be designated a Cultural Capital of Canada in 2003 by Canadian Heritage. READ

Questions in the new year

A new year has come and I thought I would take a few minutes away from Mafia Wars on Facebook to answer a few pressing questions you have tossed into my Inbox. Let’s get right to them. READ

Making the most of our TV experiences

HD. Blu-ray. Plasma. LCD. 1080p. If you take even a slight interest in home electronics, you’ve heard these words being used more and more. READ

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