With rumours swirling about changes to the federal Fisheries Act (read our viewpoint here), specifically habitat protection as outlined in section 35 of the act, 625 prominent scientists have written an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper (below).
It's a pretty straightforward letter, outlining what should be common knowledge, such as habitat is necessary for the survival of a species and other pesky "facts" that this government dislikes.
The scientists, many of whom are leaders in their field (including David Schindler from the University of Alberta), are calling on the government to strengthen the habitat provisions in the Fisheries Act and other environmental acts, rather than water them down. They say we're … Read More
Natural gas company SemCAMS ULC has been charged under Alberta's Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act for allegedly leaking waste water and hydrocarbons into a creek near the town of Fox Creek, roughly 240 km NW of Edmonton.
A government press release states a "pipeline failure" in August 2010 led to the release of 850,000 liters of saline and hydrocarbons into the creek. One km of the creek was contaminated, reportedly destroying aquatic life and killing a "substantial" number of fish.
Four charges have been laid under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. The company has also been charged by Environment Canada under the federal Fisheries Act.
SemCAMS was also charged in 2009 for failing to … Read More
A report by the Cornell University Global Labor Institute slams claims by TransCanada, the company trying to build the controversial Keystone XL oilsands pipeline through the U.S.
Chief amongst those claims is the possibility of thousands of jobs in a country that is desperate to improve its unemployment rate. According to TransCanada, the project could create 119,000 jobs for American workers.
According to the report, "The industry’s claim that KXL will create 119,000 total jobs (direct, indirect, and induced) is based on a flawed and poorly documented study commissioned by TransCanada (The Perryman Group study). Perryman wrongly includes over $1 billion in spending and over 10,000 person-years of employment for a … Read More
Today is the 173rd birthday of. Muir was the co-founder and first president of the and a steadfast advocate for the protection of . His essays and books, penned late in life after years of exploration, exposed millions to the wonders of the untrammeled outdoors. His legacy lives on in the millions of acres of American wilderness that has been protected from the saw, the plough, the bulldozer and the drilling rig.
Although Canadians have not embraced Muir’s penchant for protecting wilderness the way Americans have, Canada did play a role in his education and evolution. In 1863, John’s brother Dan fled to Canada to avoid being drafted into the horrors of the American Civil War. A year later, John … Read More
A quartet of environmental organizations has escalated the attack on Alberta’s oil sands with the publication of a report urging American regulators to implement better safety standards to protect U.S. pipelines from raw tar sands oil. Tar Sands Pipeline Safety Risks, released today by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Pipeline Safety Trust, National Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club, claims that diluted bitumen (known in industry circles as DilBit) is hard on pipelines and can lead to more leaks than conventional oil.
The report claims that because DilBit is significantly more acidic and corrosive than standard oil, and requires increased heat and pressure to move through pipelines, it may result in … Read More
Peter Kent, Canada's still-green industry err... environment minister, is taking it on his made-for-TV chin with this new Greenpeace mock dating site commercial (polluterharmony.ca), which depicts the minister's relationship with the oilsands' industry as more than friendly.
Shortly after he was handed the environment portfolio, Kent began treading on conservative pundit Ezra Levant's territory, rebranding Alberta's oilsands as "ethical oil." Cleaning up the oilsands' image — though not necessarily the industry itself — was a top priority, declared Kent.
Environmentalists immediately questioned Kent's mandate: Was he in charge of defending the environment, as his job title suggests? Or was Kent acting as Big Oil's defacto … Read More
Is it coincidence that Alberta Minister of Environment Rob Renner announced the members of the province’s environmental monitoring panel on the same day the Joint Review Panel gave the (conditional) thumbs up to TOTAL’s Joslyn North Mine Project?
I doubt it. The public relations handlers in the government’s Public Affairs Bureau are too sharp for that. Renner and his communications army had to know that, in the wake of unanimous criticism of Alberta’s management of the oil sands to date, there will be vocal opposition to Joslyn’s approval. Renner wanted to soften the blow by announcing the names of the saviours tapped to revamp Alberta’s lacklustre environmental monitoring program in the oil sands region.
I doubt, however … Read More
Much of today's column in Viewpoint (Kill Bill Vol. 29) is about reading between the lies, er, lines. This government, like most governments, are masters at communication and spin. The Tories, like most majorities, want to implement their agenda as quickly and quietly as possible. It's my job to look behind the scenes and try to figure out what's going on despite what the politicians say.
It's a risky business, of course, because you don't know for sure. This time, though, I got it right -- the spectre of unsustainable levels of development in our parks and protected areas is on the government's agenda, and it's as dangerous as I had surmised.
Lloyd Snelgrove, MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster, said that although areas that are "ecologically too … Read More
On my way to work every morning I see a lot of cars running in front of people's houses, sans drivers. It kind of ticks me off. And apparently I'm not the only one.
The ad is the brainchild of Sue Hutch, a producer at Joe Media, an environmentalist and blogger. According to Joe Media's website, the ad started, "as a conversation between Calgary-based producer Sue Hutch, JOE Media Group founder and President Matt Gillespie, and advertising agency Creative Director Christopher Heatherington. ...Sue accepted the challenge issued by Mr. Gillespie to 'come up with a strong enough anti-idling TV spot concept, and he would commit the resources of JOE Media to produce it.'"
But you won't be seeing the ad on television anytime soon. The spot, produced … Read More
Neo on Beady Eye - BE1
Neo on The sexiest man in Calgary1
Clairvoyant on Alberta should seize the opportunity for policy change6