Endangered Species

Federal Tories gut environmental assessments with sneaky changes: critics

OTTAWA - Environmental groups and opposition politicians say the federal Conservatives are trying to gut environmental assessment laws by sneaking in new rules in budget legislation.

"This is a big step backward about 20 years," John Bennett of the Sierra Club said Wednesday.

Budget legislation introduced in the House this week would give the environment minister the power to divide a large project up into smaller components for the purpose of studying its environmental impact.

"The minister may ... determine that the scope of the project in relation to which an environmental assessment is to be conducted is limited to one or more components of that project," says the legislation.... Read more »

Turtles vs. Road: Terry Fox Dr. Extension Debate

OTTAWA--Sierra Club Canada's Executive Director, John Bennett, debates Briarbrook Morgan's Grant Community Association President Matt Muirhead on the subject of the Terry Fox Dr. extension this evening, Wednesday, March 24th.  The event will be moderated by Gord Henderson, President of the Kanata Beaverbrook Community Association.

The proposed Terry Fox Dr. extension will destroy critical habitat for a number of species including the threatened Blanding's Turtles as well as further fragment a unique ecological area to the Ottawa region.

When: Wednesday, Mar. 24th, 7:30 pm
Where: Beaverbrook Community Centre (west end of the Calian Mall, entrance off Beaverbrook Road, just west of Teron Road).
Link: http://www.facebook.com/sierraclubcanada#!/event.php?eid=364503812790&ref=mf

More Buses, Less Roads

OTTAWA—Sierra Club Canada says federal infrastructure spending should be invested on developing and maintaining public transportation, not wasted on new roads. OC Transpo Route 245 was recently cut from the City’s budget without public consultation leaving residents south of Manotick without public transportation.

“We should be making it easier for residents to leave their cars at home and take the city bus to work; instead we’re canceling bus routes and building unnecessary roads to new urban sprawl, exasperating traffic and climate change,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada.

Route 245 was the only bus route canceled in the City’s budgeting process. Residents south of Manotick upset with the cut petitioned the City to reinstate the route. Meanwhile, they are forced to pay an $80 transit levy until the end of the year despite having no access to public transportation.... Read more »

New roadway a turtle hurdle -Greens

Environmentalists are crying foul over the extension of Terry Fox Drive, saying the roadway will pave over a pristine habitat" and the home of several endangered species. The Sierra Club of Canada blasted the City of Ottawa and Infrastructure Minister John Baird, saying plans to develop the land were fast-tracked" to take advantage of federal stimulus dollars. There is no need for this road other than to satisfy the greed of speculators and developers," said Sierra Club of Canada executive director John Bennett.

Additonal Excerpt:
... Read more »

Federal Stimulus Claims Ottawa Victims

OTTAWA---The endangered Blanding’s turtle is to be sacrificed on the alter of political indifference just to grab some easy money. The Terry Fox Extension project which was not planned for at least another ten years is going ahead now because the relaxation of federal environmental regulations and the callousness of the City of Ottawa and Infrastructure Minister John Baird.

The City of Ottawa is fast-tracking construction of Terry Fox Drive in order to pave over the evidence of a pristine habitat and endangered species. The City began pressing ahead with construction this week while permits from the province have yet to be issued.

"Claiming a fence in the snow will protect endangered species is just silly," said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada.

Sierra Club is continuing to gather support from across Canada to oppose the issuing of provincial permits by the Ontario government.... Read more »

   

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