Energy Onslaught

More funds sought by Sierra Club

The Comox Valley Sierra Club finds itself at a crucial juncture.

Their recently filed appeal is their next legal opportunity to stop a gas station being built on the ecologically sensitive and important Courtenay River estuary.

Having gained significant trust and support from the community, and with their legal experts saying that there are grounds for appeal, the Sierra Club does not want to give up.

“We’ve come this far and we want to finish the job,” said chairman Mike Bell at a recent members’ meeting.

The club, which is battling the development of the Gas and Go service station on the Dyke Road, needs to pay its legal team through the appeal.... Read more »

Alberta FOIP finds more than ducks killed on tar sands operations

8 April 2010 (Edmonton) — An information request has forced the Alberta government to reveal that in addition to the infamous dead ducks, 164 animals, including 27 bears, were killed between 2000 and 2008 on operations in the Alberta tar sands.

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) request was filed by independent scientist Kevin Timoney and sought material from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (SRD). The disclosed SRD information covers only three oil companies and shows reported deaths of 27 black bears, 67 deer, 31 red fox, 21 coyote, as well as moose, muskrats, beavers, voles, martens, wolves, and bats.
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Ottawa revises rules of environmental review regime

The Harper government is rewriting the rules of environmental assessments, handing the Environment Ministry the power to minimize reviews of projects from open-pit mines to municipal construction along with other changes that critics claim will “gut” the environmental review process.

Suggestions of change to the environmental review regime were contained in the March federal budget, but the extent of the changes came to light with the release of the bill that implements financial aspects of the government’s new economic measures. Placing the reforms inside a budget bill forces the opposition parties to either accept them or bring down the minority government.

Additional Excerpt:

Now, with the federal government stepping aside from many assessments, a larger number will be left in provincial hands.... Read more »

Federal Tories gut environmental assessments with sneaky changes: critics

OTTAWA - Environmental groups and opposition politicians say the federal Conservatives are trying to gut environmental assessment laws by sneaking in new rules in budget legislation.

"This is a big step backward about 20 years," John Bennett of the Sierra Club said Wednesday.

Budget legislation introduced in the House this week would give the environment minister the power to divide a large project up into smaller components for the purpose of studying its environmental impact.

"The minister may ... determine that the scope of the project in relation to which an environmental assessment is to be conducted is limited to one or more components of that project," says the legislation.... Read more »

Bullying Canada’s Environment

OTTAWA--The federal government is afraid to deal with the environment honestly and in the open. The budget implementation bill introduced Monday contains changes to the Environmental Assessment Act that have nothing to do with the 2010 budget. The changes fly in the face of the recent Supreme Court decision on the Red Chris mine and validate Sierra Club Canada’s decision to challenge the regulatory changes made in last year’s budget.

"If these changes are just, then why not deal with them on their own instead of using an election threat to steal environmental protection from Canadians," said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada.
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