Toronto, May 31, 2013 – The provincial Cabinet announced today its approval of sweeping exemptions for industry under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA). Environmental organizations are incensed at the government’s abdication of its responsibility to protect and recover Ontario’s endangered plants and animals.
Sierra Club Peel Group Chair Peter Orphanos died on December 17th after a long struggle with cancer. His funeral in Mississauga was overflowing with individuals who knew Peter as a knowledgeable and determined voice for his community and its natural environment, most especially, his beloved Credit River.
Saturday Nov. 16 a group of volunteers in Peel brought a strong message to local MP's in Brampton. We participated in a "Bike for the Climate" event, riding the Etobicoke Creek Trail from MP Parm Gill's office to MP Kyle Seeback's office. We carried signs with the message that we don't want dirty tar sands or leaky pipelines running through our communities. We invited both MPs to participate but they didn't respond to our invitation.
A Thunder Bay city councillor wants environmental groups to take over the Experimental Lakes Area — but one of the groups he's named is throwing cold water on the idea.
Federal government support for the Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario is set to expire by the end of the month and there's been no announcement of any deal for another operator to take over the project.
Thunder Bay councillor Larry Hebert said it's time for groups such as Greenpeace or the Sierra Club to get involved.
“Why haven't they come to the fore? It is important, and I don't disagree with that, but if it's that important let them … put their money where their mouth is,” he said.
The executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada said it's not a significant cost for the federal government to keep the ELA open. However John Bennett said his group’s budget could not support it.
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.