Environmental activism has come of age. As recently as twenty-five years ago, its adherents were commonly disparaged as tree huggers and extremists. In the years since, thanks mostly to such disasters as the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon oil spills, they have outgrown these pejoratives—in the eyes of reasonable people, at least. A turning point was Al Gore’s 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which for millions of viewers settled the debate on climate change.
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.”
The follow statement originated from the January 31, 2013 meeting of the Board of Directors of Sierra Club Canada:
"Sierra Club Canada is an independent body that sets its own priorities and policies.
Sierra Club Canada recognizes that the climate is rapidly approaching a tipping point that demands immediate and significant action if we are to avoid a global catastrophe.
The Sierra Club has advocated for action on climate change for more than 25 years, yet the governments in Canada and United States have failed to take serious action. This refusal to apply the same scientific principles to climate change policy that have been applied to numerous other health and environmental issues, despite unprecedented scientific research and public opinion, forces all people of conscience to question their methods.
OTTAWA – Today’s announcement by federal environment minister Peter Kent will further relax already grossly-inadequate regulations for coal-fired power plant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Despite growing evidence of climate change, particularly this summer’s record Arctic Ocean ice-loss, the government of Canada continues to ignore the science.
“Arctic Ocean ice is at an all-time low and we are in the midst of a record breaking year for heat waves, droughts and torrential rain storms,” said Sierra Club Canada Executive Director John Bennett. “We don’t have 50 years to fix this problem as the regulations will allow – action is needed now!”
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.
New rules aimed at protecting the environment will drive up the price of new cars and trucks by thousands of dollars but save motorists money at the pump.
The federal government has hitched its wagon to U.S. President Barack Obama’s aggressive new vehicle fuel standards, which would slash greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes after 2020 but elevate the cost of vehicles.
Environment Minister Peter Kent said Tuesday that Ottawa will match a proposal from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to require that, by 2025, cars and light trucks be 50-per-cent more fuel efficient and emit half as much greenhouse gases as current models.
The new regulations for cars built between 2016 and 2025 would mean both environmental and economic benefits for motorists by reducing pollution and lowering the fuel costs of operating their vehicles, Mr. Kent said.
OTTAWA -- Sierra Club Canada is appalled the Senate is recommending a massive grey seal slaughter on Canada’s east coast despite testimony from independent scientists that a slaughter could damage ocean ecosystems.
Bowing to the east coast fishing and sealing lobby, the Senate’s fisheries committee wants tens of thousands of grey seals killed, supposedly to enable a come back for the cod fishery, virtually extinguished after decades of government mismanagement and industry greed. But even the federal Department of Fisheries admitted, in a 2011 study, that there is no scientific evidence showing slaughters are effective in bringing back depleted fish stocks.
“This is nothing more than a subsidy for a dead industry,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada. “No grey seals were killed this year and only 200 pelts were sold in 2011. The markets are gone because people no longer support seal slaughters.”
Sierra Club Canada is calling on the federal government to follow the lead of European Union and take action to protect at-risk bee populations by banning three neonicotinoid pesticides: Imidacloprid, Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam.
The pesticides, which attack the bees’ nervous system, are being banned in Europe after strong evidence from a European Food Safety Authority study linked them to the bee die-off witnessed in Europe.