I had originally intended to write this column about my trip to Washington, DC on February 7-8, when I met with United States Senators and Congresspersons about climate and the Keystone XL pipeline. In brief, the trip was very successful in making links with strong proponents of climate action. Things are moving. The US General Accountability Office had decided that as a threat to federal government finances, climate change is now classed ‘high risk’.
Extending the operations of the Pickering Nuclear plant for up to an additional 10 years beyond its designed life of 2014-2016 is a Cracking Bad Idea. This is the position of Sierra Club Canada’s Ontario Chapter as it participates in the current Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s public hearing into the Ontario Power Generation’s application for a renewal of Pickering A and B licenses. Public hearings begin May 29, 2013 in Pickering, Ontario.
While OPG is confident that its plan provides the technical basis for the continued operation and eventual decommissioning of Pickering B station, Sierra Club is not. Importantly, the plan is flawed on many levels. Leaking old pressure tubes, concrete degradation and a 20 percent increase in collective worker radiation exposure in 2012, are just a few of the issues.
Over the past two years, a growing number of individuals, businesses, and governments in Canada and around the world have been rallying against the cruelty and ecological destruction caused by the practice of shark finning. Next Monday, January 28th, all eyes will be on Calgary City Council when they vote on a proposed bylaw to ban the sale, trade and distribution of shark fins in the city. If successful, Calgary will become the largest city in Canada to ban shark fins, and the 18th municipality in Canada to do so.
Thus far, Calgary City Council has shown resolve in moving this bylaw forward, and they have been strongly encouraged to do so by over 11,000 Calgarians who signed petitions to show their support. But Monday is the final vote, and City Council needs to hear your support more than ever.
Sierra Club Canada and the Ontario Chapter have submitted a detailed report on the Pickering Nuclear Station request for permit extension to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Our research has identified several reasons why closure of the plant should begin immediately.
Montré du droit par le gouvernement Harper l'an dernier au moment des réformes des lois environnementales, le processus d'évaluation de l'ancienne Loi sur les pêches était en fait très efficace.
C'est ce que conclut une étude, la première du genre, réalisée par une équipe de l'Université de Toronto et publiée par NRC Research Press, une entité indépendante du Conseil national de recherche du Canada depuis 2010.
Jusqu'à la réforme Harper, le ministère fédéral des Pêches et Océans évaluait annuellement des milliers de projets susceptibles de toucher l'habitat du poisson. Entre 2001 et 2011, jusqu'à 13 000 projets ont été évalués chaque année, et au moins 7700 pour l'année la moins occupée.
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.