Ecojustice

Environmental groups echo First Nations call for caribou protection

Ecojustice files application for emergency protection, is prepared to go to court for caribou

CALGARY — Three environmental groups have joined with four Alberta First Nations to urge the federal environment minister to provide emergency protection for caribou herds in northeastern Alberta, Ecojustice said today. Read more about Environmental groups echo First Nations call for caribou protection

Incomplete reporting still reveals mining companies’ toxic threat

Environmental groups worry some of Canada’s mines are dragging feet on federal order to report toxic mining waste

TORONTO – New data released Friday in response to a lawsuit won last year by Ecojustice, on behalf of Great Lakes United and MiningWatch Canada, is beginning to shine a light on the toxic legacy of Canada’s mining and tar sands industries.

Unfortunately, despite a lawsuit and a government order to report pollutant releases, some facilities have failed to comply. Read more about Incomplete reporting still reveals mining companies’ toxic threat

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.

Read more about Senate Passes Budget Bill Weakening Canadian Environmental Assessment

Groups appeal for end to dismantling of environmental law

Assessment law loopholes need to be closed, not created

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.

“Parliament should close loopholes in environmental laws, not create new ones to suit the tar sands and other extractive industries,” said Stephen Hazell, Ecojustice lawyer. “The Senate Finance Committee has an opportunity to avoid creating new legal loopholes and prevent catastrophes such as Deepwater Horizon from happening in Canada.” Read more about Groups appeal for end to dismantling of environmental law

Guilty verdict in Syncrude case applauded

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 about Guilty verdict in Syncrude case applauded

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?

Read more about AEN members react to Syncrude duck death verdict

Don’t gut Environmental Assessment Law through Budget Bill, Groups say

OTTAWA— Ecojustice and Sierra Club Canada will tell the House of Commons Finance Committee today to remove sections from the budget bill (C-9) that gut Canada’s environmental assessment law. Again this year, the federal government is hiding changes to Canada’s environmental protection laws in the budget to avoid public scrutiny.

“Canada’s environmental assessment law should be publicly debated in the House of Commons Environment Committee, not weakened through quick-and-dirty amendments buried in budget bills,” said Ecojustice lawyer Stephen Hazell. “Parliament is legally required to start a comprehensive review of this law in June, and the Environment Committee should be the body to recommend any changes.” Read more about Don’t gut Environmental Assessment Law through Budget Bill, Groups say

Greening the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline: Is the National Energy Board serious about sustainability?

YELLOWKNIFE — The National Energy Board has an opportunity to get serious about sustainability of ecosystems and communities in the Mackenzie Valley as it considers a possible licence for the Mackenzie Gas Project in hearings this week, says Sierra Club Prairie.

“We are disappointed that sustainability considerations are absent in the NEB’s proposed licence conditions for the Mackenzie Gas Project, despite that fact that the NEB’s chair has recently stated that sustainability is a focus for the Board.” said Sheila Muxlow, acting director of Sierra Club Prairie. “The NEB cannot be said to be serious about advancing sustainability or the public interest if it turns a blind eye to the fact that the Mackenzie Gas Project is a basin-opening project that will create a petro-economy throughout much of the Mackenzie Valley.” Read more about Greening the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline: Is the National Energy Board serious about sustainability?

Landmark court victory forces government to protect endangered species habitat

Precedent-setting decision gives Canada’s endangered sage-grouse and other species at risk a chance at recovery

Vancouver, BC — Environmentalists are celebrating the first decisive victory for endangered species since the unveiling of Canada's Species at Risk Act in 2003. On Thursday (July 9) a federal court judge in Vancouver ruled that the federal Minister of the Environment, Jim Prentice, broke the law by refusing to identify critical habitat in a recovery plan for the endangered greater sage-grouse. Read more about Landmark court victory forces government to protect endangered species habitat

Environment Week Kicks off with Sage-grouse Court Battle

Government has no excuse for ignoring habitat of well-studied Prairie bird, groups say

To stop the disappearance of one of the Prairie's most iconic species, six conservation groups are in federal court today arguing a lawsuit against the federal Minister of Environment, Jim Prentice, for refusing to identify critical habitat for the endangered greater sage-grouse. Read more about Environment Week Kicks off with Sage-grouse Court Battle

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