Your Weekly Recap of Canada's Environmental News: March 1, 2013
This week's recap includes our work to protect southern resident killer whales from harm and an investigation into the muzzling of government scientists.
By Justin Duncan, Staff lawyer
Welcome to your environmental news recap, where you’ll find a collection of stories about the state of Canada’s air, water and land. This week, you’ll read about a study that shows public concern about the environment is low, learn why the eighth anniversary of Ontario’s Greenbelt is a good thing and watch Will Amos, Director of the Ecojustice Clinic at the University of Ottawa, explain our position on offshore oil spill liability.
Ecojustice combs through the news so you don’t have to. Visit us here and you’ll find stories in three categories: climate and energy, wildlife and wilderness, people and health.
We’ll have articles, videos, audio and infographics. You’ll get what you need to stay aware of what’s happening with your air, water and land and either something to remind you why the environment is so important or a piece of good news. We promise not to overwhelm you. Our focus is on quality not quantity so help us share this far and wide.
CLIMATE & ENERGY
More on polluter pays and offshore drilling
Earlier this year, the federal government hinted that it might make industry pay more to clean up an offshore oil spill. Ecojustice’s Will Amos wants the government to issue unlimited cap that would protect Canadians from covering the cleanup costs related to a spill in the Arctic or off the east coast, where resource development is dangerous and could endanger wildlife and habitat. In this video from National Magazine, Will explains why this change is necessary.
WILDLIFE & WILDERNESS
Let's Protect Marine Animals From Harm
David Suzuki says sonar used by the U.S. Navy could harm marine life, especially whales. We agree. That’s why our lawyers are working with the David Suzuki Foundation and other groups to oppose the proposed naval exercises in a U.S. court. To find out how we’re working to protect whales, and read the opinion of one of Canada’s most noted environmentalists, visit The Huffington Post article below.
PEOPLE & HEALTH
Can Government Scientists Speak Freely?
You need access to information, including scientific research, to protect your environment. But two groups believe the government is muzzling its scientists and released a report, Muzzling Civil Servants: A Threat to Democracy. The Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria and Democracy Watch want to know if the federal government is making it more difficult for Canadians to hear what they need to know. Mia Rabson of the Winnipeg Free Press reports on the group’s request for the federal information commissioner to investigate.
Economic Concerns Trumping Environment
Concern about the environment plunged to a 20-year low last year, according to a global study released last week. The silver lining, as reported in The Globe and Mail, is that almost half of the people survey said climate change “was a ‘very serious’ concern and 50 per cent said the same for biodiversity loss.” You can read what else the researcher said at the link below.
Your weekly dose of Feel-Good
Protecting wildlife from toxic chemicals
Threatened owls and other wildlife should fare better now that the federal government is restricting the chemicals used to kill rodents. Sales of highly toxic rodenticides are now limited to professionals, according to Health Canada. Find out why rodenticide is a problem for wildlife in this article from the Vancouver Sun’s Larry Pynn.
Here’s a few other stories that might interest you:
- Alberta not meeting government’s own emissions targets | Calgary Herald
- Review of oil well for Gulf of St. Lawrence terminated | Globe and Mail
- Scientists call for Ottawa to take dramatic steps to curb emissions | Globe and Mail