Ecojustice recaps the week in Canadian environmental news: October 6, 2012
This week's Canadian environmental news recap includes legal action to protect endangered species, a premature obituary for the Northern Gateway pipeline, a Species at Risk Act report card and more.
- Jeffrey Simpson, a columnist at The Globe and Mail, says the Enbridge pipeline we’ve been fighting will never get built. He makes some convincing arguments. Many British Columbians oppose the pipeline, so does the ruling Liberal government and the NDP, who may replace the Liberals in an upcoming election. Plus, many aboriginal groups whose land the pipeline will cross don’t want it built and there’s always the possibility of court battles. All of this sounds good, but it’s too early for us to agree. Visit The Globe and Mail for the full column.
- Suncor and Syncrude, two major oilsands companies, will not face charges after ducks landed on their tailing ponds in 2010. “More than 500 of the ducks died or had to be euthanized after coming into contact with the toxic bitumen extract in the ponds,” CBC News reported (Click the link to listen to an audio story). An investigation into the incident has revealed that nothing could be done to prevent the deaths. Bad weather forced the migrating ducks to land and the place they landed just happened to be extremely toxic due to oilsands development. There’s an interesting connection here. The incident took place around the time that Syncrude agreed to pay $3 million in fines after being found guilty of failing to prevent the death of more than 1,600 ducks that died after landing in tailings pond north of Fort McMurray (Read more about that case here).
- Earthroots and Ecojustice wanted to show Ontarians how the government is managing its Permit to Take Water program, which allows millions of litres of water to be pumped from the Oak Ridges Moraine to water golf courses, sort sand and gravel, keep water bottling companies in business and, during the winter, to make snow. We were unable to discover exactly how much water is taken and how that could jeopardize Ontarians’ access and right to clean and safe drinking water. View the series at Moraine Drain.
- On Friday, CBC News reported that the federal government said that “for boreal caribou ranges with less than 65 per cent undisturbed habitat, restoration … will be necessary.” We've been saying that for some time. Many of those ranges are in Alberta, where the oilsands are gobbling up that precious habitat. Something must give in order for real change. It’s time to put the caribou first and prevent the oilsands from making one of Canada’s iconic species go extinct. Get the full scoop at CBC News.
- Endangered species in Canada aren’t getting the help they need to survive and recover. Across the board, Canada’s governments have failed to create, implement and enforce the laws that protect our endangered species. View our infographic below (click on it for a larger version) and if you want to see more action from our government, please sign our petition.
- What do the Pacific Humpback Whale, Nechako White Sturgeon, Marbled Murrelet and Southern Mountain Caribou all have in common? The federal government is overdue in producing recovery strategies for these species, which are listed under the Species at Risk Act. We’re taking the federal government to court over its failure to implement the Species at Risk Act and fulfill its legal responsibility to protect these at-risk species. Read more about it here.