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.
Re: Safety and security measures to be imposed on nuclear companies and operators in light of 2011 events at Fukushima Daiichi
Based on the geologic/historic record, and on what is known about faults in the area around Pt. Lepreau, earthquakes on the Richter scale of 7.0 or greater are certainly possible here (that is within 50-100 km.of Point Lepreau). Also, the fact that the 2011 Fukushima quake at 9.0 was unprecedented has made seismic experts understand that quakes much stronger than those anticipated in nuclear plant design standards can be expected to occur more frequently than was previously thought, and in areas where previous historically measured or described quakes were thought to have been rare and minimally destructive.
OTTAWA - The government of Canada continued its assault on environmental protection today with omnibus Bill C-45.
“Today’s killing of the Navigable Waters Act, along with further gutting of what’s left of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Fisheries Act, will inhibit the ability of Canadians to protect their natural environment for their children, grandchildren and future generations,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada.
"Canadians want to protect the environment and have a strong economy. We don’t need to sacrifice the planet to achieve the latter - the two aren’t mutually exclusive,” said Mr. Bennett.
The Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter, is looking for someone who is at ease with setting up specific e-mail lists and entering data to help organize our membership outreach and communication. We need someone who is willing to organize current membership lists into useable, reliable form. This is a task-oriented, short-term position. We could really use your help if this sounds like you! If you are interested, please contact Gretchen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 902-444-3113.
Unfortunately, the provincial government, in its energy policy document, exhibited its shortsightedness when it dismissed regional public transit as a viable option in its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To date they have tended to view it as a transportation option meriting little importance on their agenda.
PEI members of the Save our Seas and Shores Coalition (SOSS) are organizing a Quiet Walk for the Protection of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to be held on September 11 in conjunction with a meeting of the federal and provincial Ministers of Energy and Mines at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, Charlottetown, PEI.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2012
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
MEET at the Confederation Landing Park Gazebo at 11:30 or JOIN the walk anytime between 11:30 and 1:30 on Water Street between Peake's Quay and the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, where federal and provincial Ministers of Energy will be meeting. We will walk single file on the sidewalk on Water St. to avoid keeping anyone from going about their business.
Buried within the more than 400 pages of this spring’s federal omnibus budget bill is an invitation for resource companies to open a new frontier in Canadian oil: the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The gulf, which touches the coastlines of Canada’s five easternmost provinces, is the world’s largest estuary. It’s home to more than 2,000 species of marine wildlife — an ecosystem integral to the health of our Atlantic and Great Lakes fisheries.