Showing posts from March 28, 2015

Access Denied: Ministry of Environment Vetoes Interview Request on Oilsands Toxins in Animals

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[Environment Canada is for the first time ever conducting a systematic study on oilsands toxins in fur-bearing animals. Want to know more about it? Too bad for you. Meanwhile, Oilsands mobile air monitoring cancelled over funding problems. *RON*]
Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Blog, 24 March 2015

Documents obtained by DeSmog Canada reveal that Canada’s Ministry of Environment vetoed an interview request on toxins in fur-bearing animals in the oilsands, even though the federal scientist was “media trained and interested in doing the interview.”

The Environment Canada scientist in question, Philippe Thomas, had asked members of the Alberta Trappers Association to send him samples of fur-bearing animals caught across Alberta in 2012. Thomas needed a broad range of samples to gain deeper insight into the contaminant load in animals living near the oilsands.

In late 2012, DeSmog Canada submitted a request to interview Thomas, and provided several written ques…

Fraser Surrey Docks seeks to pump coal waste water into Metro Vancouver’s sewer system

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[Fraser Surrey Docks CEO Jeff Scott says chemical products sprayed on coal piles are "considered safe" but contain an unknown "proprietary additive" that irritates eyes, skin and the respiratory system. A company that wants to pump coal waste water into our public sewers should have to do better than that before getting a permit. Click here to write a letter today urging Metro Vancouver not to give Fraser Surrey Docks a wastewater permit unless it can PROVE it's safe. *RON*]

By Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun, 23 March 2015

METRO VANCOUVER -- Fraser Surrey Docks is asking Metro Vancouver for a permit to discharge treated waste water from its planned coal transfer facility into the regional sewage system.

The company’s permit application says it is proposing “comprehensive water-based dust suppression systems” that will generate run-off, as will washing down of machinery. Rain that falls on the coal piles would also be collected.


Federal energy regulator violates Charter, court case alleges

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[What do you get when the National Energy Board's 'public' reviews exclude the public? Court cases. Lotsa court cases. "The NEB (National Energy Board) has lost its way," said David Martin, a lawyer representing the group of landowners, business people, and academics. Likewise see Citizens Take Constitutional, Free Speech Challenge Against National Energy Board to Supreme Court: "The NEB's claim that it cannot consider scientific evidence regarding the long term impacts of the export of bitumen is simply wrong." Meanwhile B.C. citizens’ group launches recall campaign aimed at ‘ineffective’ MLAs — but it won’t be easy. *RON*]

David Geselbracht, Vancouver Observer, 23 March 2015

A group of concerned citizens has filed a constitutional challenge with Canada’s highest court today, frustrated with the National Energy Board’s review of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, a process they believe is fundamentally undemocratic.

Heiltsuk First Nation says commercial herring fishery violated constitutional rights

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[This surprise attack threatens a key food source for this First Nation. It's no coincidence that the Heiltsuk are one of the nations fighting Ottawa in court over the National Energy Board's approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil tanker project. Heiltsuk claim Fisheries and Ocean Canada's method of measuring herring stocks is flawed. *RON*]
CBC News, 25 Mar 2015
External Links

Heiltsuk First Nation

(Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)

The Heiltsuk First Nation on B.C.'s Central Coast says whenFisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) opened a herring fishery on Sunday afternoon it violated the band's constitutional rights.

According to a statement released by the Heiltsuk, just before 5 p.m. PT the federal department opened the herring sac roe seine fishery in Spiller Channel, despite the First Nation's demands the commercial fishery remain closed this year to preserve herring …

Inside Canada's publicly funded $24 mil oilsands ad campaign

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[It must be nice, as usual, for the oil industry to have the general public pay for its advertising campaign. How many times did people watch an anti-Keystone video? Gotta keep tabs on environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer! Now, get the masses to remember and repeat: approve Keystone. Those were some of the explicit objectives of Canada's publicly funded $24 million oil sands ad campaign As a side-note, I just noticed that the Vancouver Observer is starting up a new project, the National Observer -- good for them! *RON*]

The Canadian Press, posted on Vancouver Observer, 23 March 2015

WASHINGTON — The multimillion−dollar campaign to market Canadian oil in the U.S. was hard to miss.

The Maple Leaf was plastered on the walls of subway stops in Washington, D.C., and it popped up in all sorts of American publications with messages like, "America’s Best Energy Partner," and "Friends and Neighbors."

Documents obtained by The Ca…

How Transit Impacts our Economy

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[Transit creates more jobs per dollar invested than any other type of infrastructure spending. *RON*]

Conversations for Responsible Economic Development, not dated.

The transit plebiscite is launching in a week, and whether or not you think a plebiscite is useful, it’s brought up much needed conversations about what Greater Vancouver’s transit system looks like now and should look like in the future.

It’s a fact that our population is growing and our transit system needs to grow, but let’s look at the economic impact that investment in transit could have in Metro Vancouver.

Transit as a job creator

Transit gets people moving, but it also gets our local economy flowing. You don’t have to be a frequent user of public transit to benefit from a good transit system. The economic impacts of investing in transit creates benefits that take many different forms:
Direct ROI & Multiplier Effects: It is estimated that for every $1 invested in public transit, …

Big Shelves Of Antarctic Ice Melting Faster Than Scientists Thought

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["...the rate of shrinking [in antarctic ice shelves] has increased by 70 percent over the past decade." This floating ice is what has been holding the ice over the land from flowing into the ocean, which could eventually raise sea levels by nine feet. Likewise, Antarctic Ice Shelves are Thinning Rapidly — and the Losses are Accelerating in West Antarctica. *RON*]
Christopher Joyce, National Public Radio, All Things Considered, 26 March 2015

The Antarctic is far away, freezing and buried under a patchwork of ice sheets and glaciers. But a warming climate is altering that mosaic in unpredictable ways — research published Thursday shows that the pace of change in parts of the Antarctic is accelerating.

Many of the ice sheets that blanket Antarctica run right down to the land's edge and then out into the ocean, where they form floating ice "shelves." Some of those shelves have been shrinking lately. Now, a team of scientists …

Rights group presses watchdog on CSIS records about Northern Gateway pipeline

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[Hi, I'm back home! :-) Despite repeated government claims to the contrary, newly released documents bolster the case being brought by the BC Civil Liberties Association that CSIS repeatedly spied on law-abiding Canadians when they monitored the peaceful activities of citizens who'd prefer to not see more pipelines and tankers in B.C. Not only that, some of the information was shared with oil and pipeline companies. Unfortunately, Bill C-51 further weakens the checks and balances required in a healthy democracy to avoid this kind of abuse of power. There is an answer to this kind of civic erosion. There are tens of thousands of British Columbians banding together across this province to wrest decision-making power back from far away offices in Ottawa. Join them to re-invigorate our democracy and restore our institutions by clicking right here then checking the "Join a local Dogwood team" box. See also Makers of Firefox web brow…