OTTAWA – As a direct result of Bill C-38, Sierra Club Canada and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) are withdrawing their applications for judicial review of permits issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to allow Bruce Power to export 1,600 tonnes of radioactive waste (containing plutonium and other radionuclides) through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway to Sweden.
“Our court case is the first victim of Bill C-38,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada. “Our quest for environmental justice and democracy, however, is far from over.”
Research is questioning the logic behind the federal government's move to streamline environmental assessments.
After tracking thousands of assessments over a decade, the peer-reviewed findings of Derrick de Kerckhove suggest a great majority of Fisheries Act environmental reviews over the last decade were completed well within recommended timelines.
Nor was there a bottleneck of projects being held up by a clogged review process, he said.
"We didn't find any. Even when the input was high, it seemed to be handled very well."
De Kerckhove, a University of Toronto PhD candidate, analyzed 10 years worth of data from Department of Fisheries and Oceans annual reports on the progress of environmental assessments triggered under the Fisheries Act. That legislation generates more such reviews than almost any other — anywhere from 7,700 to more than 12,000 in a single year.
As cabinet ministers are reportedly readying themselves themselves to consider the implications of China-owned energy behemoth CNOOC's bid to take over Calgary-based Nexen, the latest communications filings reveal the company at the centre of the potentially contentious deal lost no time fanning out across official Ottawa after going public with the offer last month.
TV host Ezra Levant raised some eyebrows by calling oil from Canada's oilsands "the fair trade coffee of the world's oil industry." Levant, who has become a spokesperson for the so-called "ethical oil" movement and has made a career bolstering the Alberta oilsands, was a keynote speaker Tuesday at Pacific Northwest Economic Region's (PNWER) annual summit in Saskatoon.
"Out of the top 10 oil reserve countries in the world, we are the only one that is a liberal democracy," Levant told the crowd, which had a large contingent of people working in the oil and gas industry.
Levant distinguishes oil produced in Canada from so-called conflict oil produced in countries such as Saudi Arabia, which don't have the same environmental standards or human rights records.
"I'm just saying we should have a moral preference for the ethical stuff," Levant said after the speech.
An Angus Reid Public Opinion poll released exclusively to The Globe and Mail says despite recent discussion about Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway project, only 1 per cent of respondents think energy is the most important issue facing the province.
OTTAWA -- Sierra Club Canada is very encouraged the U.S. State Department’s conclusion that the United States does not require the Keystone XL Pipeline to meet its energy demands.
“This clears the way for President Obama to reject the Keystone pipeline. If Keystone isn't needed, why would President Obama approve it," said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada. “This is clearly the most significant conclusion in the 2000 page report.”
Sierra Club Canada has concerns with some sections of the report, namely that the authors took a narrow view in their analysis of overall greenhouse gas implications associated with Tar Sands development.
Sierra Club Canada will continue its review of the State Department's draft environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline and will use the 45 day comment period to respond to its shortcomings.
The federal government’s budget legislation has forced the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to cancel nearly 3,000 screenings into potential environmental damage caused by proposed development projects across Canada, including hundreds involving a pipeline or fossil fuel energy, according to published records.
OTTAWA – A species of dragonfly may be the next victim of the federal government’s gutting of environmental protection laws, says Sierra Club Canada. The Laura’s Clubtail Dragonfly (Stylurus laurae) along with the Coast Manroot (Marah oreganus), and Four-leaved Milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia) had their applications to be included on the Wildlife Species at Risk list denied by Environment Minister Peter Kent earlier last month (the July 4th announcement went unnoticed in the media).
Moving Alberta oil to the Maritimes would be good for Nova Scotia, but the ultimate goal would still have to be cutting back on carbon-based fuels, says a Dalhousie University professor who studies energy security.
Larry Hughes said Tuesday that the province needs to improve the security of its oil supply, especially considering the heavy reliance on fuel oil for heating, instead of relying on unstable areas like Nigeria and the Middle East for portions of the supply.