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Gulf spill exploited to paint oil sands green

In the wake of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice has joined Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach to beat the drum for the oil sands. Prentice recently portrayed the oil sands as a less environmentally risky alternative to offshore drilling. The Pembina Institute's Danielle Droitsch takes Minister Prentice and Premier Stelmach to task for "using their positions to sell the oil sands" rather than acting "as stewards to province's resources, ensuring responsible development of the oil sands and proper regulation of oil sands operators." She concludes:

The Gulf oil spill is not an opportunity to claim the oil sands are something they're not - safer, cleaner or more secure. The spill should serve as a grave reminder of what can happen if oil is not developed responsibly. Moreover, the spill should set in motion a cleaner, carbon-free energy future, where we don't depend on risky, environmentally damaging fossil fuels at all.

Link to posting on the Oil Sands Watch website.

Posted May 10, 2010 by Anonymous

New water policy tool

The good folks over at Water Matters point us towards a new resource for those working on or interested in water policy in Canada. The Living Water Policy Project aims to: Read more »

Posted May 10, 2010 by Anonymous

Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights debated for first time

A reminder that Bill C-469, An Act to establish a Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights, gets it Second reading (first time debated) in the House of Commons today. According to the Environmental Law Centre, the Private Members' Bill, introduced by Edmonton—Strathcona MP Linda Duncan, would:

…provide Canadians with access to environmental information, substantive environmental rights and rights to appeal federal decisions that might harm the environment.

You can watch the "action" on ParlVU. According to the projected order of business, Bill C-469 will be debated around 3:30pm MDT.

Posted May 6, 2010 by Anonymous

Climate Change Accountability Act passes third reading

With Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, passing third reading in the House of Commons, AEN groups reacted to this historic event.

Matthew Bramley, Director of the Pembina Institute's Climate Change Program said:

By passing the Climate Change Accountability Act today, a majority of MPs have voted for strong, science-based action on climate change. This groundbreaking bill would set a target for Canada's 2050 emissions that lines up with our G8 commitments and with U.S. legislation, and would require the government to move immediately to put in place the policies needed to get on track towards that target.

And according to the Sierra Club's John Bennett:

The passing of the Climate Change Accountability Act is a huge victory for climate change policy in Canada. The environmental movement has supported this Bill from its inception as one of the strongest piece of climate change legislation in Canadian politics.

Posted May 6, 2010 by Anonymous

Update on federal Environmental Bill of Rights

The Environmental Law Centre has posted an update on the progress of the federal Environmental Bill of Rights.

On Thursday, May 6th, a private members’ bill, C-469, An Act to establish a Canadian Environmental of Rights, will have its first hour of debate in the House of Commons. The Bill would provide Canadians with access to environmental information, substantive environmental rights and rights to appeal federal decisions that might harm the environment.  It also enshrines the concept of public trust.  The Bill is comparable to, but goes further than, many provincial environmental rights laws. For more information see our previous post: Environmental Bill of Rights Enters Parliament.

Read more »

Posted May 4, 2010 by Anonymous

Get the Real Dirt on Remediation Certificates (Webinar)

May 12 2010 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

 

When contaminated land is remediated and re-used, one of the biggest concerns for owners and developers is whether the government will hold them liable in the future for the land’s condition, especially if remediation standards change.  In 2009, Alberta Environment introduced the remediation certificate as a voluntary tool that could address some of those concerns.

On May 12, 2010, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm, join Cindy Chiasson, Executive Director of the Environmental Law Centre, to learn more about remediation certificates.  Topics will include:

  • What is a remediation certificate?
  • Do I need one?
  • How do I get one?
  • What protection will it give me?
  • Where can I get more information about remediation certificates?

Click here to register for this event.

Posted May 4, 2010 by Anonymous

Environmental Law Centre on the Syncrude duck death trial

If you've been following the Syncrude duck death trial, check out this post by the Environmental Law Centre's Adam Driedzic. In it he answers common questions about the trial, and helps to clarify the implications of the pending verdict.

The prosecution has delivered its closing arguments in the case of R. v. Syncrude.  Syncrude’s non-suit application was dismissed, and it will be forced to plead a defence against evidence that could see it convicted.   The public interest this case has generated is warranted, but after two months of tar and feathers it can be hard to distinguish political debate about the oil sands from the actual legal issues.

Muddy Water II: Syncrude Ducks The Issue

Posted April 30, 2010 by Anonymous

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