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.
OTTAWA - Canadian courts should order Chevron to hand over its Canadian assets to compensate Ecuadorian villagers for the toxic legacy they are forced to live with as a result of the cost cutting polluting practices of the company. This court action comes just the Canadian government is attempting to gut environmental laws.
“We have launched #BlackOutSpeakOut because Environmental laws are essential to protect public health and the environment. Without them companies like Chevron will leave a toxic legacy for our children,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada.
Charlottetown, P.E.I– Sierra Club Canada Atlantic Chapter has received support from the TELUS Community Board that will enable them to continue their youth mentorship program, Sierra Buddies, in PEI this fall.
The Sierra Buddies program guides youth to help make their schools and communities greener, while at the same time preparing them to be future leaders. Students at the Grade 10 level who have been trained and educated about environmental issues and concepts are paired up with Grade 6 students to share and spread their knowledge.
Unfortunately, the provincial government, in its energy policy document, exhibited its shortsightedness when it dismissed regional public transit as a viable option in its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To date they have tended to view it as a transportation option meriting little importance on their agenda.
Come Share Your Concerns, Tell Us Your Values, and Give Recommendations
As part of the environmental assessment for the Donkin Coal Mine, Sierra Club Atlantic invites community members to join us in gathering information about local community values, features in the region that could be impacted by the project, and their recommendations regarding the project.
This information will be used as part of our submission to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency regarding the project, and will be used by regulators to reduce or eliminate environmental impacts of the project.
WHEN: Wednesday, August 29th, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm,
WHERE: Port Morien Fire Hall, Port Morien, Nova Scotia
WHY: To gather local information about concerns & possible impacts as a part of the environmental assessment of the Donkin Coal Mine.
Sierra Club Canada congratulates Premier Kathleen Wynne for stepping up to save the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA).The ELA is an essential part of Canada's environmental protection infrastructure and necessary for understanding how our environment is impacted by human activity.
"We thought the ELA was an endangered species until Premier Wynne stepped up," said Dan McDermott, Director of Sierra Club Canada’s Ontario Chapter.
The ELA was fundamental in demonstrating the how our lakes were being effected by Sulphur emissions from power plants and smelters. ELA research ultimately led to the US-Canada air quality agreement which prompted a significant reduction in toxic emissions, for which Canadians can be grateful.