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Ottawa removing North Pacific humpback whales from list of ‘threatened’ species PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 18:12

Ottawa removing North Pacific humpback whales from list of ‘threatened’ species

By Peter O'Neil, Vancouver Sun

April 22, 2014

Ottawa removing North Pacific humpback whales from list of threatened species

A humpback whale breaches the surface outside of Hartley Bay along the Great Bear Rainforest, B.C. Sept, 17, 2013. The Harper government is downgrading the protection of the North Pacific humpback whale despite objections from a clear majority of groups that were consulted. Critics say the whales could face greater danger if two major oilsands pipeline projects get the go-ahead, since both would result in a sharp increase in movement of large vessels on the West Coast that occasionally collide with, and kill, whales like the humpback.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 18:36
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Métis suit claims B.C. dams cause 'irreversible' harm PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 18:01

Ryan Cormier, Edmonton Journal, Canadian Press

Published: Tuesday, December 10 2013

The Métis Nation of Alberta Association has launched a $3-billion lawsuit against B.C. Hydro and the Government of Canada for damage to the Lake Athabasca delta created by two dams on British Columbia stretches of the Peace River.

The suit, launched by the Fort Chipewyan chapter of the association, claims that the Bennett and Peace Canyon Dams have had disastrous effects on the Lake Athabasca delta created by the meeting of the Peace and Athabasca Rivers in northeastern Alberta.

The dams have substantially reduced the flow of the Peace River and dried the delta by "virtually eliminating" the spring flooding. That lack of flow has had "irreversible" debilitating effects on wildlife and plants that the Métis rely upon to continue their way of life, the suit states. The reduced flow also infringes upon entrenched Métis water rights.

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Erosion of Canada's parkland: The loss of the last sanctuaries PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 14 April 2014 17:57
By Bob McDonald, Quirks & Quarks
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Canada's Parks are being slowly eroded by changing regulations that could turn our last wild refuges over to developers and resource extraction.
 
Parks Canada is currently considering a proposal to build a hotel on the shores of Maligne Lake in Alberta's Jasper National Park. This type of development in a wilderness area goes against Park policy, but as more and more visitors come through the gates each year, the parks are under pressure to provide more accommodation and services. 
 
But building more hotels destroys the very wilderness people have come to see. 
In British Columbia, the Legislature recently passed the controversial Bill 4 - Park Amendment Act that allows "research" and "feasibility studies" in Provincial Parks for projects such as oil and gas pipelines, along with structures related to that work. Until now, research in parks was limited to only those activities that led to the betterment of the park itself. But now, the definition of the term has been softened, so research by industry interested in park resources can take place.
 
The amendment also allows for a park boundary to be moved if a pipeline route or other development infringes on a park area. Once the boundary is moved out of the way, the project can go through more easily because the land is no longer a park
Last Updated on Monday, 14 April 2014 18:05
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B.C. First Nation along pipeline route officially rejects Northern Gateway plan PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 12 April 2014 09:06

BY DENE MOORE, THE CANADIAN PRESS

B.C. First Nation along pipeline route officially rejects Northern Gateway plan

A group of First Nations, with territory covering a quarter of the route for the proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline, has gathered in Fort St. James, British Columbia to officially reject the project on Friday April 11, 2014. THE CANADAIN PRESS/Dene Moore

FORT ST. JAMES, B.C. - A group of First Nations with territory covering a quarter of the route for the proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline met with federal representatives Friday to officially reject the project.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 April 2014 22:07
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WHALE-DEATH INVESTIGATION FLAWED, EXPERTS SAY PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 10 March 2014 05:18

Sarah Petrescu / Times Colonist 

http://www.timescolonist.com/whale-death-investigation-flawed-experts-say-1.886935

March 8, 2014 10:05 PM

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Orca L-112, also sometimes known as Victoria or Sooke, swims with her mother. The young whale's body washed up at Long Beach, Wash., on Feb. 11, 2012.  Photograph by: Ken Balcomb 

 

Orca L-112, also sometimes known as Victoria or Sooke, swims with her mother. The young whale's body washed up at Long Beach, Wash., on Feb. 11, 2012.  Photograph by: Ken Balcomb

 

An investigation into the death of a baby killer whale that absolved Royal Canadian Navy exercises around Vancouver Island of involvement was seriously flawed, two experts claim.

“My concern is our investigation team looked the other way at negligence and misleading evidence,” said Ken Balcomb from the Center for Whale Research, based in Friday Harbor, Wash.

The report, by the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, was released last week, two years after the body of the bloodied and bruised whale washed up on Long Beach, Wash., on Feb. 11, 2012.

The three-year-old whale belonged to the southern resident L-pod family. It was named L-112, and was sometimes called Victoria or Sooke as it was first spotted locally.

The southern residents are listed as an endangered species by the U.S. and Canada with protected habitats around the Island and Washington.

At the time the whale washed ashore, advocates called into question sonar and explosives activities of the Esquimalt-based destroyer HMCS Ottawa off southern Vancouver Island just days before.

The investigation determined the whale was killed by blunt-force trauma four to 10 days before it was stranded but the nature and cause remain mysterious. There was extensive subcutaneous bruising but no broken bones or skull fractures.

The report cleared the Canadian navy, saying its exercises were too far away to be a factor in the whale’s death.

But Balcomb said the report ignored obvious flaws in evidence provided by the navy, namely conflicting accounts of where its ships were at what time during the sonar and blasting exercises.

He cited acoustic evidence of whales in the same protected corridors that sonar pings and explosions were recorded underwater. The latter most likely came from the documented navy exercises, he said. This included dropping 1.4-kilogram charges into the water to simulate battle and mid-frequency sonar over three days and locations about 80 to 90 nautical miles from the entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 05:28
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Oilsands study confirms tailings found in groundwater, river PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 21 February 2014 12:20

Federal study shows water from tailings ponds leaching into Athabasca River

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/oilsands-study-confirms-tailings-found-in-groundwater-river-1.2545089

CBC News Posted: Feb 20, 2014 11:59 AM MT Last Updated: Feb 21, 2014 7:08 AM MT

 

An Environment Canada study found tailings are leaching into groundwater around oilsands mining operations.

An Environment Canada study found tailings are leaching into groundwater around oilsands mining operations. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press) 

 

New federal research confirms that Alberta’s oilsands are polluting ground water and seeping into the Athabasca River.

The industry has maintained that toxic chemicals are contained safely in tailing ponds, but new research shows this isn’t the case.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 12:25
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Oilsands study confirms tailings found in groundwater, river PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 21 February 2014 12:14

Federal study shows water from tailings ponds leaching into Athabasca River

CBC News Posted: Feb 20, 2014 11:59 AM MT Last Updated: Feb 21, 2014 7:08 AM MT

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/oilsands-study-confirms-tailings-found-in-groundwater-river-1.2545089

An Environment Canada study found tailings are leaching into groundwater around oilsands mining operations.

An Environment Canada study found tailings are leaching into groundwater around oilsands mining operations. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

New federal research confirms that Alberta’s oilsands are polluting ground water and seeping into the Athabasca River.

The industry has maintained that toxic chemicals are contained safely in tailing ponds, but new research shows this isn’t the case.

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Tar Sands Facing Aboriginal Legal Onslaught In 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 20 February 2014 07:11

Tar Sands Facing Aboriginal Legal Onslaught In 2014

By Canadian Press, www.cbc.ca

BY http://www.popularresistance.org/tar-sands-facing-aboriginal-legal-onslaught-in-2014/
January 5th, 2014

First Nations plans challenges of new rules for regulatory approvals of energy projects.


 

Simmering disputes over the oilsands between Alberta aboriginals and the provincial and federal governments will break into the open in 2014 as virtually every one of the many recent changes in oversight of the controversial industry comes under legal and political attack.

 

“All litigation, all the time, is what I see on the horizon,” said Larry Innes, lawyer for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.

Over the last 18 months, Ottawa and Edmonton have rewritten the book on resource development. Everything from how aboriginals will be consulted to land use planning to oilsands monitoring to the basic ground rules for environmental assessment has been changed.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2014 07:24
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Fish Lake struggle comes to Victoria PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:17

by Harjap Grewal

Pacific Regional Organizer
The Council of Canadians

 

 
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First Nations like the Tsilhqot'in and Hul'qumi'num are facing a massive push for new resource development on their lands and waters. Governments and corporations claim the law is on their side. What have Canadian courts and international human rights bodies said about this? What are the implications of the Tsilhqot'in case before the Supreme Court? And how can non-Aboriginal people support the struggle for justice?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:25
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Senate must heed evidence on bee killing pesticides PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 09:07
MEDIA RELEASE / January 28, 2014 
Senate must heed evidence on bee killing pesticides
OTTAWA – The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry begins hearings on bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides today. Beekeepers, grain growers and academics have been invited to present evidence.
 
 
The hearings come a month after Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) -- bowing to pressure from lobby group Croplife and the pesticide industry -- shockingly punted any action on the bee-killing pesticides until at least 2016. Croplife is led by former Conservative MP and newly minted President & CEO Ted Menzies.
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