The break is over and we only have a few days to convince the Ontario government not to weaken its already inadequate enforcement of the Endangered Species Act.
The Natural Resources Ministry wants to stop issuing permits to developers wanting to build in areas where endangered species are living. Instead of being required to obtain a permit (as is the case now) when working in sensitive habitat areas home to endangered or threatened species, developers and industry would only have to voluntarily comply with existing rules and regulations. In our business "voluntary regulation" is an oxymoron; a misnomer for deregulation or the wholesale gutting of regulation (remember voluntary labeling of GM foods – 10 years later we’re still waiting for that to happen).
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.”
Howie Chong is the new National President of the Sierra Club Canada, and he is in Halifax this week to meet supporters, and to get input and ideas about organization priorities and direction.
He is here to introduce himself to members of the Sierra Club Atlantic, based in Halifax, and to encourage involvement and participation on important regional and national issues including: oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, opposition to fracking, and promoting renewable energy.
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (July 24, 2012) - The Atlantic Canada Sustainable Energy Coalition (ACSEC) welcomes this week’s discussions of a Canadian Energy Strategy among Premiers as they gather in Halifax for the annual Council
of the Federation meeting – but stresses any national strategy must respect the Atlantic Provinces’ energy goals, not just Alberta’s.
“Alberta arrived at last year’s meeting of National Energy Ministers in Kananaskis with a very clear set of priorities for a Canadian Energy Strategy,” explained ACSEC’s Regional Coordinator Catherine Abreu. “The Atlantic Provinces must come to this week’s meeting prepared to push for a balanced plan that supports their transition to a low-carbon economy, reflects their leadership, and works to improve Atlantic Canadians’ energy security.”
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).
On Wednesday September 25, 2012, five members of Sierra Club Canada joined the group Hungry for Climate Leadership on Parliament Hill in solidarity with their 12-Day Fast for Climate Change (seven climate activists began their fast on September 21st and will continue to fast until October 2nd).
Leader of the Green Party of Canada Elizabeth May, who is fasting for five days in solidarity with the group, also came to show her support and sign the pledge that aims to (1) end fossil fuel subsidies, (2) put a price on carbon, and (3) support the development of a renewable energy plan for Canada. Hungry for Climate Leadership urges the Canadian government to take immediate action to help mitigate the climate change crisis.
Ahead of their meeting in Halifax, the country's Premiers are being urged to come up with an energy plan for Canadians and not just an energy strategy for Canada.
John Bennett with the environmental group The Sierra Club of Canada says before we worry about expanding our energy export business, we need to address our domestic energy use.
"Doesn't charity start at home?" muses Bennett. "Shouldn't it be everyone's first priority to make sure that we meet our own needs and we do it in a way which is sustainable and acceptable? And then we talk about, well if we have excess then let's ship the excess somewhere else. They're not talking about how Canadians can meet their energy needs, and how we can do it sustainably and environmentally favourably."
Bennett adds a national energy strategy should also include the element of energy usage and efficiency.
Starting this fall, clear food containers, the ubiquitous 'clamshells' used for egg cartons, fruit and vegetables, and baked goods, will be recyclable in the Toronto's Blue Box. This will divert 2000 tonnes of waste per year from landfill!
Did you get a letter from Brampton Brick recently?
If you submitted an objection to the Norval Quarry in December 2010, you've most likely received a Notice of Objector Response via registered mail from Brampton Brick. Under the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA), Brampton Brick is required to respond to all objectors within a two year period, expiring on November 4, 2012. It is important that you respond to reconfirm your objection to the Norval Quarry within 20 days of receiving Brampton Brick’s notice, otherwise your concerns are withdrawn and deemed no longer valid. Although Brampton Brick has updated a few of their component studies since your original objection letter, almost all of our original objections remain outstanding.
There has been almost no contact from Brampton Brick attempting to resolve any of our concerns!