Ecojustice

Environmental Groups Name Feds in Filing for Caribou Protection

EDMONTON — Environmental groups took steps today to ramp up pressure on the federal government to protect the province’s precious and declining caribou herds.

Ecojustice, on behalf of the Alberta Wilderness Association and the Pembina Institute, filed an application this morning for a federal judicial review, which asks the court to order Environment Minister Jim Prentice to recommend emergency protections for seven caribou herds in northeastern Alberta. Read more about Environmental Groups Name Feds in Filing for Caribou Protection

Environmental groups challenge Syncrude tailings plan approvals

ERCB acted contrary to the law in approving tailings plans, groups say

CALGARY – The Energy Resources Conservation Board’s approval of Syncrude’s tailings management plan is unlawful and must be revoked immediately, Ecojustice said today.

Ecojustice, acting on behalf of the Pembina Institute and Water Matters, has filed an application (see attached) with the ERCB requesting approval be withdrawn until management plans are brought in line with ERCB’s tailings management directive. Read more about Environmental groups challenge Syncrude tailings plan approvals

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

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