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.
(Courtice, Ontario and Cheektowaga, New York) - A proposal to refurbish Ontario’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station (DNGS) may be in violation of Canada’s transboundary treaty obligations. The Sierra Club has told the Environmental Assessment Panel considering Ontario Power Generation’s proposed New Build and Refurbishment and Continued Operation of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station (DNGS) that the proposals may violate the 1991 Canada–U.S. Air Quality Agreement.
Energy giant Shell Canada Energy plans to increase bitumen production at the Jackpine Mine site by 100,000 bpd, bringing mining production to a total of 300,000 bpd.
The expansion would include space for new mining and processing facilities along the east side of the Athabasca River, approximately 70 km north of Fort McMurray.
Interested individuals and groups are now invited to provide comments and questions to a joint review panel in Ottawa. The panel, which was created to assess the environmental effects of the proposed project, must receive all comments in writing by Aug. 3, in order to be considered. All comments received by the panel will be considered public and will be posted online.
Comments, both in French or English, can be sent by mail, email or fax to:
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.
Sierra Club Canada's (SCC) 2011 Annual Report summarizes the year's findings for the National Office,
Atlantic Chapter, Québec Chapter, Ontario Chapter, Prairie Chapter, British Columbia Chapter,
and Sierra Youth Coalition.
The National Office of SCC undertook several campaigns in 2011, focused on educating and empowering the
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.