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.
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.
Toronto, October 2, 2012 – Ontario is blind to the impact forestry is having on wildlife species across the province says Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller today in the release of Part 2 of his 2011/2012 Annual Report, Losing Our Touch. Despite a legal requirement to do so, Miller says the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) does not adequately monitor forest wildlife populations and incorporate the information into its own forest management policies.
When a class environmental assessment eighteen years ago authorized MNR to proceed with planning for timber harvesting and related activities, it also imposed legally binding terms and conditions. One requirement was the establishment of a province-wide monitoring program that would assess how timber harvesting affects forest-dwelling species.
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.
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.
The International Joint Commission will be holding a series of Public Hearings in July: Addressing Uncertainty in Upper Great Lakes Water Levels. These hearings will provide information on their studies since 2007 investigating options for better management of changing water levels and flows in the upper Great Lakes system (Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan/Georgian Bay and Erie).
Sierra Club is encouraging everyone to participate at the meetings. Please come and wear your "Restore Our Water Levels" t-shirt (pictured here). You can buy one for $10 at the IJC meetings or at select marinas and stores around Georgian Bay. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find a location near you.
The following information is from a June 12, 2012 press release issued by the Lloyd Gallery. Images of the artists work appear below:
Two British Columbian artists are picking up their brushes to paint in protest against the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Project.
Glenn Clark, a 53-year-old Penticton landscape artist, conceived of this art and protest project, entitled Abandoning Paradise, when he realized that a ban on oil tankers traveling off the west coast was a realistic goal. The project won support from a British Columbia Arts Council Project Grant received by Clark this year.
Local environmental organizations say a decision by Queen's Park to enhance its plan to protect the environment will be a boon for the Credit River.
Premier Dalton McGuinty announced today that the Province is expanding its Greenbelt Plan and adding provincially owned lands in Oakville to grow the greenbelt to nearly two million acres of protected land across the Golden Horseshoe.
The greenbelt stretches about 325 kilometres from Rice Lake, near Peterborough, to the Niagara River and was created to protect environmentally sensitive lands from urban development and sprawl.
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).
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.