November 29th, 2017
In 1944 the U.K, U.S. and Canada created the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) at Chalk River to produce plutonium for nuclear bombs. This facility, about 200 km northwest of Ottawa, on the banks of the Ottawa River, had numerous serious accidents in the early decades of atomic energy and weapons. Over a hundred CNL buildings now await decommissioning.
In 2015 the former Conservative Government contracted a multinational consortium of five U.K, U.S. and Canadian companies (including SNC Lavalin) to operate CNL, to dispose of waste there quickly and cheaply.
The consortium proposes a “Near Surface Disposal Facility” (NSDF), a mound of one million cubic meters of nuclear waste on a hillside draining into the already highly contaminated Perch Creek wetlands, less than 1 km from the Ottawa River. This historic river supplies drinking water to wildlife along its banks and to millions of people, including those in Ottawa, Gatineau, Montreal and in between.
… Read more on Sierra Club Ontario’s website
For the past nine years, there has been a major battle to protect the five hundred acres Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls. It appeared to be won when in 2010 much of the area was protected from development by being designated as a provincially significant wetland. This launched however, a new battle to weaken such protection through a change in provincial policy, which was only defeated through a successful campaign this summer.
One the major reasons that the development has been defeated so far, is that the through its comments, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has expressed concern that some of the Thundering Waters Forest may contain maternity roosting habitat for three species on endangered bats - Tri-Coloured Bat, Little Brown Bat, Northern Mytosis. The Ministry expressed these concerns in 2016 in time for the 2016 May and June roosting period. The developer, GR Canada Investments, has still refused to carry out these acoustic studies to determine the presence of bats, even though the opportunity was presented to do this in May and June of 2017. Now the developer is attempting to complete public input on this development project without the benefit of studies to see if the forest contains significant habitat for these three Endangered Species.
...Watch the YouTube video here.
3. Great Lakes: ENGOs Unite to Protect the Great Lakes at the People's Great Lakes Summit 2.0
Together with Sierra Club Ontario’s Chapter Coordinator, Yvonne Ho and Great Lakes Campaign Chair, Lino Grima, I had the pleasure of attending The People's Great Lakes Summit 2.0, hosted by the Canadian Environmental Law Association in Toronto. It was a two-day event where environmental professionals from a dozen ENGOs gathered with three goals in mind: planning, policy, and action geared toward protecting the Great Lakes.
We spent our first day exploring the current state of freshwater policy in Ontario, including nuanced discussion of how research findings on water quality are best reported to the general public. However, the primary focus of the conference was action – planning collective projects that work toward our shared goals of freshwater protection. Participants who attended the previous summit in May shared updates on their work. Topics included urban stormwater runoff, plastics pollution, and the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals.
... Read more on Sierra Club Ontario’s website.
Join this timely public forum and teach-in on the current NAFTA and potential impacts of its re-negotiation, in particular its effects on women, employment and racialized workers.
Date: Monday Dec 4th, 2017
5pm - 6:30pm (Teach-in)
7pm – 9pm (Public Forum)
Hassan Yussuff - President, Canadian Labour Congress & member of the Federal Advisory Council on NAFTA
Armine Yalnizyan - Economist & CBC columnist
Hosted by the Toronto and York Region Labour Council.
About the event:
A day-long symposium at the Royal Ontario Museum focused on discussing the current state of Canada's Oceans, and what is needed for Canadian government to fulfill their 2020 ocean protection targets. The symposium will include 4 panels, and representation from individuals from all over Canada: scientists, politicians, ocean-users, First Nations, and more. The event will include audience engagement and participation.
Date: Tuesday Dec 5th, 2017
Time: 9am – 5pm
Hosted by: The Royal Ontario Museum
For more information, please visit the event website.
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