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.
Critics of Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from the Alberta oilsands to tankers on the British Columbia coast say there is no time for the science to be completed before a federal deadline for the environmental assessment currently underway.
Documents filed with the National Energy Board show the environmental review panel studying the Northern Gateway project asked Fisheries and Oceans Canada for risk assessments for the bodies of water the proposed pipeline will cross. The pipeline is to traverse nearly 1,000 streams and rivers in the upper Fraser, Skeena and Kitimat watersheds.
We are very excited to be involved in the 13th Annual Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival, October 10–14, 2012!
Sierra Club Ontario is cosponsoring the screening of Rainforest: The Limit of Splendour, screening withEyes in the Forest and Crown of Life. These are on the final day of the festival Sunday, October 14 at 4:00 PM at the spectacular TIFF Bell Lightbox (Cinema 2).
Austerity and obscurantism. These were the defining features of the first full calendar year of Stephen Harper’s majority government, which came to a quiet close this week.
Take, for instance, Bill C-38, Canada’s longest-ever federal budget. Setting out $5-billion in spending cuts, the budget was the most austere in over a decade. And yet, despite the depth of the slashes and thus their potential to remake the country, their nature and likely impacts remain intentionally obscure. As part of an omnibus budget, most of the cuts were not evaluated by the relevant parliamentary committees; details about their implementation were withheld from watchdogs and opposition MPs; and many cuts were to programs without which it will be very difficult to measure the price we’ve paid for austerity.
SASKATOON - Coal-fired power plants got more regulatory breathing room than expected to release greenhouse gases Wednesday, something federal Environment Minister Peter Kent says is necessary to protect Canada's power supply.
The final regulations for coal-powered plants, released Wednesday, stipulate they can emit no more than 420 tonnes of greenhouse gases per gigawatt hour of electricity generated.
This number is significantly higher than the 375 tonnes per gigawatt hour Kent proposed in earlier draft regulations released in August.
While admitting the new rules are "at the high end" of the 360 to 425 tonne per gigawatt hour range he considered, Kent said the decision was made to avoid putting the "consuming public at risk of inadequate power supply."
Niagara Region is getting an early start on consultations and input into the scheduled 2015 provincial review of the Greenbelt Plan. The Region’s, “Getting Ahead of the Provincial Review of the Greenbelt Plan – Strategy to Develop a made in Niagara Perspective”, outreach program is now underway. Sierra Club Ontario attended yesterday’s environmental focus group. A public meeting on the Greenbelt Plan takes place this evening at Balls Falls Conservation Centre.
The Greenbelt’s land-use policies protect environmental and agricultural lands from urban development and preserve the vibrant character of local towns and villages.