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.”
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.
PEI members of the Save our Seas and Shores Coalition (SOSS) are organizing a Quiet Walk for the Protection of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to be held on September 11 in conjunction with a meeting of the federal and provincial Ministers of Energy and Mines at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, Charlottetown, PEI.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2012
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
MEET at the Confederation Landing Park Gazebo at 11:30 or JOIN the walk anytime between 11:30 and 1:30 on Water Street between Peake's Quay and the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, where federal and provincial Ministers of Energy will be meeting. We will walk single file on the sidewalk on Water St. to avoid keeping anyone from going about their business.
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.
The IJC meetings on the Great Lakes water levels finished off mid-July with some of its most successful turnouts (read about the Midland meeting, where 600+ people attended). The struggle is not over yet. Please remember that the IJC is accepting public comments via mail by September 30, 2012. It is also important to write your MP with the same message: Restore our water levels!
Before writing your letter(s) please ask yourself these questions:
1. What do 13 unprecedented years of low water levels mean to you economically and environmentally ( eg loss of wetlands and fish habitat, water quality concerns, invasion of Phragmites australis on exposed shorelines)?
Halifax, NS – Community and environmental groups, members of the Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition, applaud the Municipality of Colchester Municipal Sewer Use Appeal Committee for its decision not to allow the release of fracking wastewater through the Debert sewage system.