Canada's history (and present state) as a place of mines and sawmills and boom-bust cycles has left a lot of pock marks across the landscape. Sometimes someone deals with them, sometimes nobody does.
Marathon, Ontario, has had a string of hazardous materials spilled/leaked/mishandled out of an abandoned sawmill over the last few years, on top of the already dirty history of operation. Said contamination blessed the surrounding area with everyone's favourite friends “Miss Mercury” and “Captain PCB”.
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.
OTTAWA – Documents released yesterday indicate that back in May the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) was alerted to a shipment containing radioactive kitchenware (contaminated with Cobalt 60) and it wasn’t until October 5th CNSC ordered Hanin Shipping  to remove their radioactive shipment from a dock in Montreal.
This incident raises a number of very serious questions, including:
First-Nations communities along the St. Lawrence River are warning the federal government to get tough with firms that wish to transport nuclear waste via the waterway, despite new challenges created by the Tory government’s massive omnibus budget bill.
Bruce Power, Canada’s first privately-owned nuclear power generator located on Lake Huron, had applied to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) in 2010 to transport nuclear waste to a Swedish treatment facility. The waste would be shipped to Sweden via the St. Lawrence Seaway.
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.
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.
Pressure is mounting on the U.S. and Canadian governments to explore ways to restore water levels on Lakes Michigan and Huron that have been lowered nearly two feet due to historic dredging on the St. Clair River. The two lakes, which are actually one body of water connected at the Straits of Mackinac, have been below their long-term average for more than a decade, and forecasters say in the coming months they could plunge below their record low.
Now an organization of 90 mayors representing more than 15 million residents in cities across the Great Lakes region is telling the International Joint Commission that it is "dissatisfied" with a recent study that determined restoring lake levels by installing some type of structure to repair damage done to the St. Clair River would be a costly project that could take decades and ultimately do more harm than good.