Which way the wind’s blowing
It’s true Canada is the only industrialized country without a national plan to deploy renewable energy (Budget 'Walks Away' From Renewable Energy, Environmentalist Says – March 11). There was, however, a far greater environmental outrage in last week’s federal budget. Future energy projects will no longer be assessed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Instead, environmental assessments will be undertaken by either the National Energy Board or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
This creates a reasonable apprehension of bias. These institutions, in a very real sense, are an extension of industries they are intended to regulate. On Wednesday, the National Energy Board gave us a glimpse of what this will mean to environmental protection when it rejected the bulk of the 176 recommendations of the Joint Review Panel on the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline.
Late last year, Sierra Club Canada released a report on the growing amount of radioactive tritium finding its way from nuclear power plants into our drinking water. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission issued a press release calling the report “junk science.” A few weeks later, 200,000 litres of tritium-contaminated water leaked from the Darlington Nuclear Power Plant.
John Bennett, executive director, Sierra Club Canada