By Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.
On Monday, January 21st, 2013
The International Energy Agency is warning that shooting past two degrees Celsius average global temperature will have “dire consequences.” And the World Bank is talking about 3.5 degrees of warming as being “devastating.” These are not environmental agencies. They are conservative, economically-oriented institutions. They are “establishment” with a capital E. Their language is increasingly alarmed, and yet nothing happens.
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.
Another coal plant has bitten the dust in Ontario. A few days ago, the Atikokan Generating Station, located about 200 kilometres west of Thunder Bay, burned its last piece of coal. While it may be a long way from smoggy southern Ontario, the Atikokan plant was still a big polluter: dumping mercury and acid-rain generating fallout over the beautiful lakes, rivers and forests of the province’s northwest. And, of course, it was a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that affect us all.
Pressure is mounting on the U.S. and Canadian governments to explore ways to restore water levels on Lakes Michigan and Huron that have been lowered nearly two feet due to historic dredging on the St. Clair River. The two lakes, which are actually one body of water connected at the Straits of Mackinac, have been below their long-term average for more than a decade, and forecasters say in the coming months they could plunge below their record low.
Now an organization of 90 mayors representing more than 15 million residents in cities across the Great Lakes region is telling the International Joint Commission that it is "dissatisfied" with a recent study that determined restoring lake levels by installing some type of structure to repair damage done to the St. Clair River would be a costly project that could take decades and ultimately do more harm than good.
On Sept. 4th an official announcement was posted with the details for new Darlington hearings. Greenpeace and NorthWatch are working to coordinate the public participation on these. For more info you can contact Sarah Sherman at Greenpeace: firstname.lastname@example.org. They have provided many links to info to help you participate fully - see below.
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