7 stories to keep you informed about Canada’s environment
This week's Canadian environmental news recap includes action to protect Canadians' health from pesticides, Enbridge defending its record on pipeline safety, an experiment gone wrong in the Pacific Ocean, the second omnibus bill and more.
All that and more in this week’s recap.
Climate & Energy
Video: What Enbridge VP says about pipeline safety
- Enbridge vice-president Janet Holder visited CBC’s Power & Politics on Wednesday. In an interview with Evan Solomon, Holder told Canadians that it would only take the company about 12 minutes to respond to an oil spill. That’s fast, but it’s not enough to convince us that this project is a good idea. We're still working to stop the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. Until then, here's a clip to keep you occupied.
- CBC’s Evan Solomon also asked Holder why Canadians should trust Enbridge after its record of spills. In a press release that we posted to our website, Nikki Skuce of ForestEthics Advocacy had a similar thought. “Essentially, Enbridge responds repeatedly, ‘trust us.’ This is from the same company who will self-inspect its pipelines and who has faced dozens of constructions in the past.”
How the federal government’s new bill leaves Canada’s waterways with less protection
- Buried in the 457-page budget bill tabled on Thursday are changes that will limit the protection to just 97. Canada has almost 32,000 lakes and that leaves a lot of lakes vulnerable. “Lake, rivers and streams often stand in the path of large industrial development, particularly pipelines,” said Devon Page, executive director at Ecojustice. This is another instance of government sacrificing Canada’s rich natural legacy in order to please the oil and gas industry. And that’s not all the bill does. Find out by visiting this link.
What we did to protect the health of Canadians
- On Monday, we took another step towards creating an environment that’s healthier for you and every Canadian. We asked the government to reduce your exposure to pesticide chemicals. Why? Because we know that some of these chemicals have been linked to developmental illness and cancer. We also know that our communities are healthier when our government bans 30 pesticide chemicals already banned in other countries. So we partnered with the David Suzuki Foundation and Equiterre to ask Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq for a special review of the chemicals. You can read about it here or check out what the Ottawa Citizen wrote about it here.
How (another) Enbridge pipeline may put Great Lakes at risk
- The National Wildlife Federation says that if two ageing Enbridge pipelines rupture, a source of drinking water for 30 million would be at risk. The pipelines run from Superior, Wisc., to Sarnia, Ont., home to Chemical Valley -- already a pollution hotspot because of the large amount of petrochemical refining. The pipelines run under the Straits of Mackinac and the National Wildlife Federation says a plan to increase the amount of oil flowing through those pipes might cause them to bust. Why are the Great Lakes so important? They provide water to Americans and Canadians, support a $7 billion fishery and a $16 billion recreational boating economy,” according to the report, Sunken Hazard. Find out more at inside climate news.
Why dumping chemicals into the Pacific might be a bad idea
- An American entrepreneur dumped 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific in July. The Toronto Star reports that Russ George has created “an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres” while attempting to fertilize the ocean. The problem is that the process, which was supposed to help the ocean, isn’t proven. And its effects, according to the international scientific agency Royal Society, has a “high potential for unintended and undesirable ecological side effects.” Click here to find out more.
Meet a town that’s wants Canada’s nuclear waste
- Twenty-one communities in Saskatchewan and Ontario want to be a dumping ground for Canada’s nuclear waste. One of those towns is Hornepayne, Ont., and the CBC’s Margot McDiarmid filed a report about why any town would want to take the risks. Visit the link for the full story or watch the video below.