Canada’s nuclear industry releases massive quantities of radioactive pollution on a routine basis. In 2008, Canada's nuclear reactors released 6.6 quadrillion becquerels of tritium. Radioactive tritium gets into our food and drinking water, exposing millions of people to a known carcinogen.
Issued by the country’s 11 largest environmental and conservation organizations, this document offers practical directions for addressing the number one concern for Canadians – the state of the environment.
The recommendations centre on climate change, energy use, food production, toxic substances, water, forests and oceans.
Water is a precious and finite natural resource.
As of June 2008, 720 million cubic metres of fluid tailings were being stored in Alberta.1
Tailings fluids are toxic to aquatic organisms and pose health concerns for human communities. Napthenic Acids are the major toxicant in oil sands tailings water. Other contaminants in tailings include, arsenic, mercury, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Alberta’s tar sands are one of the biggest social and ecological challenges in North America, fueling climate change, destroying the northern boreal forest, and drying up our mighty rivers.
With proven reserves of 175 billion barrels, the tar sands are second only to Saudi Arabia in available oil supply. As development continues at an alarming rate, concerns are growing over the impacts on communities and the environment.
Human health depends on a healthy environment. When the environment becomes contaminated, we feel the impacts in the form of increases in the rate of disease and infection. Economically and socially marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by these impacts because too often they are the communities closest to the sources of health risks, such as toxic waste sites of tar sands developments.
Global warming is a worldwide concern considered one of the greatest threats facing our planet today. It will have detrimental impacts on human health, wildlife, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and our economy. According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), human activity is the primary driver of global warming. Despite this, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, and Canada is contributing to further climate change.
Alberta’s Boreal forest is one of the last wild forests left in the world. It is home to thousands of plants and animals, contains 35% of Canada’s wetlands and, as a functioning whole, stores carbon, regulates climate and filters water. The Boreal forest is an incredible ecosystem that needs protection from the unrelenting pressures of increased oil sands development.