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.
Following a massive, deadly fire sparked by the derailment of a train in Quebec, questions are being asked about the safety of hazardous goods rail networks in British Columbia.
Early Saturday morning, a parked train carrying crude oil rolled away and crashed, sparking multiple explosions and a major fire in the community of Lac-Mégantic. Thirteen people have been confirmed dead and around 50 remain missing as of Monday.
The incident has shone the spotlight on the contentious political debate over oil transportation and Canada's rapidly expanding oil-by-rail industry.
The federal Conservative government consulted with both environmental organizations and industry associations before making controversial changes to the Fisheries Act last year, but listened primarily to industry.
Halifax, NS – Sierra Club Atlantic welcomes the ban of the import of dangerous fracking waste announced today in Nova Scotia. Last spring, Sierra Club launched a petition calling for the ban, and the NS Liberal Party promised to ban the import of fracking waste in the lead up to the provincial election last September.
“This is a relief for Nova Scotians and Nova Scotian municipalities who feared that we were going to be tasked with dealing with toxic fracking waste in the region,” according to Gretchen Fitzgerald, Director of Sierra Club Atlantic, “I am thrilled to see the leadership in this province demonstrate they are taking the threat represented by toxic fracking waste seriously.”
Ontario is bringing together a group of experts to provide advice on how to prevent bee mortalities.
The Bee Health Working Group will be comprised of beekeepers, farmers, agri-business representatives, scientists, and staff from both federal and provincial government agencies. Drawing on a broad range of expertise, the working group will provide recommendations on how to mitigate the potential risk to honey bees from exposure to neonicotinoid -- a pesticide used for corn and soybeans.
The working group will meet for the first time this month and provide its recommendations by spring 2014.
Supporting the province's agri-businesses while protecting the environment is part of the Ontario government's plan to create a fair and prosperous society.
Sierra Club Canada's Ontario Chapter was instrumental in the decision by our provincial government to shut down all coal plants. The day has come! Toronto environmental lawyer Dianne Saxe has a nice piece on her website about it:
Goodbye to Nanticoke, and all that coal
by DIANNE SAXE on JANUARY 15, 2014
January 8 marked the last day of operation of the Nanticoke Generating Station, the last operating coal-fired electrical generating facility in southern Ontario. This latest shut down will help mark 2014 as the year Ontario will become a coal-free jurisdiction.
Montré du droit par le gouvernement Harper l'an dernier au moment des réformes des lois environnementales, le processus d'évaluation de l'ancienne Loi sur les pêches était en fait très efficace.
C'est ce que conclut une étude, la première du genre, réalisée par une équipe de l'Université de Toronto et publiée par NRC Research Press, une entité indépendante du Conseil national de recherche du Canada depuis 2010.
Jusqu'à la réforme Harper, le ministère fédéral des Pêches et Océans évaluait annuellement des milliers de projets susceptibles de toucher l'habitat du poisson. Entre 2001 et 2011, jusqu'à 13 000 projets ont été évalués chaque année, et au moins 7700 pour l'année la moins occupée.