Ecojustice recaps the week in Canadian environmental news: September 21, 2012
This week's Canadian environmental news recap includes a carbon tax kerfuffle, celebrities against the Northern Gateway pipeline, our lawyers helping to stop new nuclear reactors from being built in Ontario and more.
By Pierre Hamilton, Communications Associate
Parliament resumed this week and it didn’t take long for the Conservative government to accuse NDP leader Thomas Mulcair of wanting to bring in a carbon tax that would hurt the economy. Lawyers Justin Duncan and Kaitlyn Mitchell filed a second legal challenge in order to prevent nuclear reactors from being built in Ontario until the health and drinking water risks are known and addressed. The Northern Gateway pipeline hearings resumed and several celebrities joined the fight to stop the proposed pipeline. All that and more below.
Climate & Energy
Conservatives and NDP haggle over carbon
- NDP leader Thomas Mulcair wants to ruin Canada’s economy with a $21-billion carbon tax. That’s what Conservatives were shouting from the rooftops this week. Mulcair said they were liars. No news on whether their pants are on fire. Mulcair says that he wants a cap-and-trade system similar to one the Conservatives proposed in 2008. Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson thinks the Conservatives have amnesia.
- Green Party leader Elizabeth May went on Power & Politics with Evan Solomon to talk about the carbon tax kerfuffle.
Can star power stop the Northern Gateway pipeline
- World Wildlife Fund Canada has recruited former Olympic hockey team captain Scott Niedermayer, author Joseph Boyden and economist Jeff Rubin. Their mission: prevent Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from being built in order to protect the Great Bear Rain Forest in British Columbia. “This is a bunch of people from all different walks of life who don’t have a preexisting organized position to adhere to,” WWF Canada President Gerald Butts told the The Globe and Mail’s editorial board. Find out more here.
- Earlier today I watched the trailer for Elemental, which features threes stories about people fighting to protect and restore the environment. The one you’re familiar with is the oilsands/pipeline battles but the other two — one about an Indian politician and another about Australian inventor — are just as moving.
People & Health
No new nukes in Ontario
- This week lawyers from Ecojustice and the Canadian Environmental Law Association, on behalf of Greenpeace Canada and CELA, asked the Federal Court to revoke the licence issued to Ontario Power Generation to begin work to prepare its Darlington site in Clarington, Ont., for the proposed construction of new nuclear reactors. Get the full scoop at this blog post.
Make the connection between health and environment
- David Suzuki suggests that Canadians must invest in “reducing pollution and environmental degradation” to help keep us healthy. It’s hard to argue with that. Every time we inhale, we invite whatever’s in the air into our bodies. Reducing the number of chemicals that we know are linked to respiratory illness and some cancers would do us all well.
Wildlife & Wilderness
Infographic: Mining in British Columbia
- CTV BC explores “the people, issues and the environmental price of B.C.’s mining boom.” One fact mentioned in the infographic is that the region where mining is occurring has one of the largest intact predator-prey systems in North America. That sounds like something worth protecting.
Pesticides in Bird Food
- Our Facebook friend Marnie Larocque let us know that Scotts Miracle-Gro is on the hook for US$12 million in fines after selling bird seed that it knew was tainted by pesticides. This took place in the U.S., but it’s shocking story that you can find out about here.
See you next week.