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Senate Passes Budget Bill Weakening Canadian Environmental Assessment

Despite the opposition of public interest groups, including AEN members Ecojustice, Sierra Club Canada, and the Environmental Law Centre, and a recommendation from the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate voted to pass the budget bill (C-9) including provisions to weaken the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The Environmental Law Centre's Adam Driedzic weighs in on the impacts on the environmental assessment process and the "exclusion of the public from decision-making on matters of public interest."

You don’t have to be an environmentalist to be concerned with this one.  For the second straight year, the federal budget bill passed with Trojan horse provisions unrelated to the budget.   The perennial target is the federal environmental assessment regime, but the real victim is the public.

Posted July 14, 2010 by AEN

Senate Finance Committee Protects the Environment

9 Jul 2010

Edmonton, AB – In the past few months, the Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been actively involved in campaigning against amendments that could render the environmental assessment process ineffectual, needlessly exposing the environment, the Canadian public, and future generations to unknown and potentially irreversible risks by providing the Minister of Environment with discretion to reduce the scope of activities for which an assessment is conducted. Read more »

Posted July 9, 2010 by AEN

Groups appeal for end to dismantling of environmental law

Assessment law loopholes need to be closed, not created

6 Jul 2010

OTTAWA — Canada’s environmental assessment law should be reformed through a scheduled parliamentary review, not weakened through piecemeal amendments buried in a budget bill, Ecojustice and Sierra Club Canada said today. Read more »

Posted July 6, 2010 by AEN

Guilty verdict in Syncrude case applauded

25 Jun 2010

CALGARY — Alberta provincial court’s guilty verdict in the Syncrude ducks case confirms the need to eliminate toxic tailings ponds and the risks they pose, Ecojustice said today. 

 

Some 1,600 ducks died after landing in a Syncrude tailings pond in April 2008. The pond’s bird deterrent systems were not in place at the time. Read more »

Posted June 28, 2010 by AEN

AEN members react to Syncrude duck death verdict

AEN members weighed in on Friday's guilty verdict in the Syncrude ducks case. Both Sierra Club Canada and Ecojustice applauded the verdict, suggesting that the verdict further confirms the need to eliminate the toxic tailings ponds. The Pembina Institute's Simon Dyer, while calling the verdict "significant" and "positive", raises questions about the deterrent value and impact of the verdict in the broader context of the oil sands tailings ponds:

Since the incident, the amount of tailings (the toxic liquid waste produced by the oil sands extraction process) has steadily increased in volume by 200 million litres, or 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools, every day to now cover an area of 170 km2. It raises the question: Did the ducks die in vain?

Posted June 28, 2010 by AEN

Sierra Club Canada applauds Syncrude court ruling

25 Jun 2010

OTTAWA – Syncrude Canada Ltd. was found guilty today on federal and provincial charges and may now face fines of up to $800 000.

“It is great to see Syncrude charged as guilty under federal and provincial laws," said Sheila Muxlow, Interim Director of Sierra Club Prairie. "I just hope the federal and provincial governments see that it's time to shut these projects down and begin the transition towards a clean, green, renewable energy economy." Read more »

Posted June 25, 2010 by AEN

ELC on Environmental Bill of Rights and proposed Wastewater Regulations

The Environmental Law Centre posts on a couple of recent developments. Adam Driedzic posts on Bill C-469: An Act to establish a Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights, which recently passed second reading in the House of Commons.

Laura Bowman comments on proposed wastewater regulations under the Fisheries Act.

There is no assurance from regulators that public health and the environment will be adequately protected while municipalities take 10-30 years to comply.  These timelines are not consistent with those ordered by the courts on the rare occasions when municipalities have been charged and convicted.

Posted June 22, 2010 by AEN

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