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's (SCC) 2011 Annual Report summarizes the year's findings for the National Office,
Atlantic Chapter, Québec Chapter, Ontario Chapter, Prairie Chapter, British Columbia Chapter,
and Sierra Youth Coalition.
The National Office of SCC undertook several campaigns in 2011, focused on educating and empowering the
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.
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.
OTTAWA – A species of dragonfly may be the next victim of the federal government’s gutting of environmental protection laws, says Sierra Club Canada. The Laura’s Clubtail Dragonfly (Stylurus laurae) along with the Coast Manroot (Marah oreganus), and Four-leaved Milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia) had their applications to be included on the Wildlife Species at Risk list denied by Environment Minister Peter Kent earlier last month (the July 4th announcement went unnoticed in the media).
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.