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Senate examines foreign funding of charities

The Conservative government has quietly begun looking into the charitable status of environmental groups in the Senate.

Senator Nicole Eaton is sponsoring an inquiry into what she calls "funding by foreign foundations." Eaton began her debate Tuesday by laying out what she considers to be a threat to the Canadian economy.

"This inquiry is about master manipulators who are operating under the guise of charitable organizations in an effort to manipulate our policies for their own gain," she said in the Upper Chamber.

Environmental groups don't see it that way.

"My fear is that they will just try to smear us and then walk away," said John Bennett, executive director of Sierra Club Canada. "And that they're hoping to frighten off U.S. foundations from supporting us... And they're going to try to turn off the public from supporting us."... Read more »

Are Canadian environmentalists a terrorist threat?

In a report released yesterday outlining the federal government’s new counter-terrorism strategy, Public Safety Canada listed environmentalists among other “issue-based domestic extremists” that could pose a threat to Canadians.

Responding to the report, Sierra Club Canada director John Bennett said this portrayal is aligned with officials’ attempts to silence environmental groups opposed to major energy projects like the Northern Gateway pipeline.

“We are one of the few segments of Canadian society that has continually stood up to the present Conservative government and been able to be effective at raising issues," said Bennett.... Read more »

In war, first disrupt communications …

We got the word last night. The federal government won't be funding the Canadian Environmental Network (CEN) any more. The network consists of 600 groups from coast to coast to coast.

The news came about the same time Heritage Minister James Moore tweeted the announcement of his new War of 1812 iPhone App - part of a $29 million program to celebrate a 200 year old war.

CEN is a coordinating body that doesn't take stands. It just helps environmental organizations network and facilitates communication with the federal government. It’s the very definition of non-partisan. ... Read more »

Conservationists want clampdown on driving in Alberta grizzly country

CALGARY - Conservationists say the Alberta government needs to clamp down on traffic in sensitive backcountry habitat to provide protection for the province's dwindling grizzly bear population.

Alberta's grizzly bear numbers stand at less than 700 and prompted the government to ban hunting the last few years and to declare the animals threatened under Alberta's Wildlife Act.

But problems with all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and other vehicles remain despite the ban.

"Nobody was ever saying the grizzly bears are in trouble because of the hunt and nobody was ever saying that removing the hunt was going to fix the problem," said Nigel Douglas, a conservation specialist with the Alberta Wilderness Association.

... Read more »

Despite “Threatened” Listing, Alberta Grizzly Deaths Remain Too High

Media Release, March 14, 2011

Even though grizzly bears were listed as threatened last June, grizzly bear mortality in Alberta reached unsustainable levels in 2010. An estimated 29 grizzlies died in Alberta, approximately 4.2 percent of the population. This level of mortality is much higher than the 2.8 percent mortality rate suggested as “sustainable” in the Alberta government’s own 2010 report, Status of the Alberta Grizzly Bear in Alberta.

“The threatened listing is meaningless if serious measures are not introduced to reduce grizzly bear mortality,” says Nigel Douglas, Alberta Wilderness Association conservation specialist. “The single greatest benefit would come from reducing motorized access into grizzly bear habitat.”... Read more »

Legal loss to Shell dire for wildlife

By Barrie K. Gilbert, PhD, Wildlife Scientist, Wolfe Island, Ont.
Source: Edmonton Journal
June 3, 2011

The recent rejection by a superior court justice of an appeal of an Energy Resources Conservation Board decision on Shell Canada's application to drill in the Castle wilderness is fallacious.

Now the legal system has joined the ERCB and the provincial sustainable resource development (SRD) department in failing to block further loss of grizzly bear habitat and endangered plant communities.

The judge ruled: "The well's opponents did not present any persuasive evidence it would endanger the bears."... Read more »

Ranchland plans deadstock program

By Sheena Read
Source: Nanton News

The Municipal District (MD) of Ranchland is planning a deadstock removal program to try to reduce predation issues.

At the Jan. 11 meeting of the Ranchland ag service board, ag fieldman Carla Bick reported that she has spoken to West Coast Reductions about the absence of service to the Ranchland area. The representative she spoke to was unaware that the company didn't go into the area, but told Bick he would be interested in doing so.

Producers who have deadstock to be removed can call the Calgary office rather than the Lethbridge office, and a truck will come out, at a rate of nine cents a pound or a $75 minimum fee.

Bick suggested that an incentive program could be established to get producers to have the deadstock removed.... Read more »

Vancouver filmmaker Damien Gillis takes aim at Enbridge pipeline in Oil in Eden

When local filmmaker Damien Gillis took his equipment up to B.C.’s north and central coast and got to witness firsthand the humpback whales swimming freely, he almost got a lump in his throat. And that’s hard to do to the burly 31-year-old who looks like a rugby forward and has a baritone voice made for broadcasting.

“I love this province, and my primary function is to serve, through my media work, to highlight issues that I see as being the biggest threats to the environment and public interest in B.C.,” Gillis told the Georgia Straight by phone on February 10. “Along with [long-time radio broadcaster] Rafe Mair, through our new organization [Common Sense Canadian], we are touring the province and really talking about rivers, salmon, and oil tankers and oil pipelines.”

Read the entire article and view these spectacular photos at the link below.

Alberta parks legislation on hold indefinitely

Controversial Alberta parks legislation put on hold until this spring has now been quietly postponed again, indefinitely.

Environmentalists and legal experts have criticized Bill 29, the Alberta Parks Act, for taking away formal legal protections for Alberta parks. They also said it concentrated too much power in the office of the minister.

When the bill was on the verge of being passed in November, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Minister Cindy Ady suspended debate, saying she would review the concerns and introduce the legislation again this spring, with amendments.

"I have continued to listen to the views of Albertans," Ady wrote in an update posted to her department's website on Friday.

"While I had planned to bring park legislation back this spring, I will spend the time needed to address the main concerns raised by Albertans before moving forward with new legislation."... Read more »

Mackenzie gas pipeline to get cabinet OK

After almost 40 years of conflict and controversy, the massive Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline project is expected to get final government approval as early as next week with one major caveat — no federal subsidies.

Senior government sources tell CBC News the federal cabinet will give a green light to the controversial $16-billion pipeline, possibly at its next meeting.

While government approval would cap four decades of studies and delays since the Mackenzie project was first proposed, the pipeline could remain a pipe dream for years to come.

Even with final federal approvals, the big issue now is whether the project still makes economic sense without hefty public subsidies the Conservative government is apparently unwilling to provide.... Read more »

            

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