Tag Archives: canada

Video of Tom Brokaw explaining Canada

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Canada’s environmental laws are under attack by both the federal and Ontario governments.

By David Suzuki, June 12, 2012

In Ottawa, the government introduced Bill C-38 to implement far-reaching measures announced in its budget. Ontario’s government introduced a similar omnibus bill with profound implications for the environment.

The 420-page Bill C-38 will gut a raft of federal laws passed over the years to ensure that our air, water, and most vulnerable wildlife populations are protected. Casualties include the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, Fisheries Act, Species at Risk Act, National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy Act, and the Kyoto Implementation Act.

In a surprisingly similar action, the government of Ontario recently introduced Bill 55. The 327-page bill seriously affects no less than six important resource and wildlife laws, with amendments that strike at the heart of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act and other vital environmental legislation. These changes would reduce the level of protection and undermine public management of cherished forests, lakes, and rivers and the immeasurable benefits they provide.

When Ontario introduced its Endangered Species Act in 2007, legal experts and advocates lauded it as one of the strongest environmental laws in North America. Ontario’s leadership was commendable, as it established a strong legal benchmark to protect wildlife at risk in the province, such as caribou, snapping turtles, and rare Carolinian forests, only a few years before the world came together to celebrate the 2010 United Nations International Year of Biodiversity.

Although biodiversity loss receives less attention than issues such as climate change, it threatens the very life-support systems of our planet: clear air, clean water, and productive soil. This is not a problem of some far off tropical rainforest nation or our overfished oceans. Scientists say Ontario is particularly vulnerable to biodiversity decline and has a global responsibility for stewardship.

A study in the renowned scientific journal The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences identified the boreal forest (which makes up more than 40 percent of Ontario) as the biome on the planet most vulnerable to damage from industrial activities and the effects of human-caused global warming. The study’s authors showed that in recent years these areas have lost more forest cover to resource development and natural disturbances exacerbated by human-caused climate change than any other biome on the planet—including tropical rainforests such as the Amazon.

By weakening its Endangered Species Act—eliminating legal timelines for the development of species recovery strategies, creating loopholes for resource industries like forestry and mining, and further limiting legal protection of endangered wildlife on private lands—Ontario will be unprepared to cope with ongoing threats to its precious ecosystems and biodiversity, such as urban sprawl, the spread of invasive species, and climate change.

The federal government has justified its efforts to eviscerate environmental laws by cynically claiming that caring for nature is a barrier to economic prosperity. But this ideologically driven agenda will harm our nation and undermine the future for our children. We can’t hope to have healthy economies and communities in Ontario or the rest of Canada without healthy ecosystems and species diversity.

Species and ecosystem losses affect production of valuable economic commodities like food, timber, and medicines, and compromise many ecological services that sustain the health and well-being of our communities. Nature helps regulate climate, disease outbreaks, and wastes; provides aesthetic, recreational, and spiritual value; and supports services such as nutrient cycling and water purification.

A recent study by the David Suzuki Foundation found that biodiversity in Ontario’s Greenbelt alone helps to filter, store, and regulate drinking water for millions of people in the Greater Toronto Area—a service worth over $1 billion a year that saves cash-strapped municipalities hundreds of millions in capital costs just to upgrade water infrastructure.

The health of our air, water, and most vulnerable wildlife populations are too important to be treated so callously. The government of Ontario must withdraw the proposed amendments to its Endangered Species Act and other environmental laws.

The environment can’t simply be a fair-weather friend for politicians running for election. True leadership means committing to the long haul and ensuring that air, water, land, and wildlife are protected now and into the future in Ontario and across Canada.

Written with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Terrestrial Conservation and Science Program director Faisal Moola.

Learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.

Against all odds trapped whale freed

By Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist May 30, 2012
In a dramatic rescue, fisheries officers work to free a juvenile humpback whale ensnared by prawn traps in Knight Inlet, about 100 kilometres northwest of Campbell River. A young humpback whale, entangled in prawn traps in Knight Inlet on B.C.’s north coast, has been rescued in the nick of time.
Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada Pacific marine mammal co-ordinator, knew when he received the call for help on Sunday that there was no time to spare because the trap lines were tying the animal to the ocean floor and every centimetre the tide rose brought the juvenile humpback closer to death.”It was a scramble,” said Cottrell, who has disentangled four humpback whales from fishing gear. By chance, fisheries officers Kyle Jackson and Lindsay Johnston were in the area after responding to a float-plane incident and Cottrell, who raced to Knight Inlet from Vancouver, was also met by DFO cetacean research technician Jared Towers and whale researcher Christie McMillan. The situation was dire for the whale, Cottrell said. Fishermen had laid 50 prawn traps that morning and anchored them to the bottom. When the nine metre whale investigated, ropes got caught around the animal’s fluke (the tail fin) and pectoral fin, tying him to the ocean floor.
“He wasn’t moving at all and he was labouring to breathe and the tide was coming in. All the factors were against us,” Cottrell said. “The gear went straight down to the bottom. There was no slack.” With the prawn fishermen helping, Cottrell used a specially designed cutting tool to sever ropes around the pectoral fin. “Then we worked feverishly on the animal to get the fluke up as high as we could,” Cottrell said. “There was a double wrap around the fluke and [the rope] went straight down. . . . He was just arching to breathe.”
With much manoeuvring of the boat and efforts to bring the tail up, the ropes around the fluke were finally cut. Then Cottrell’s heart sank as the whale remained stationary, tail down. “I thought I’d missed a rope,” he said. “Then slowly he realized he was free and he started to slowly swim off.” Freed humpbacks usually take off in a hurry, but this one was probably stiff, Cottrell said. “He’d been stretched in that fluke down position since morning with his blowhole just out of the water. He was definitely pretty stiff.”
The polysteel ropes rubbed the whale’s pectoral fin raw, but he is likely to make a full recovery, Cottrell said. The rescue was made easier by the whale remaining stationary, he said. “These creatures are very powerful, but they really are gentle giants.”
The quick call from the prawn fishermen saved the whale’s life, Cottrell said. “They did exactly the right thing.”
Humpback whale populations are increasing on the B.C. coast and three out of the last four entanglements have been in Knight Inlet, so Fisheries and Oceans will be talking with the prawn industry to see what changes can be made, Cottrell said. “There are lots of things that we can look at, like the type of gear.” Humpbacks are naturally curious and that can get them into trouble, Cottrell said. “And this one was just a kid.”
The Marine Mammal Incident Hotline is 1-800-465-4336.

Tell Prime Minister Harper “Save our coast; NO tar sands pipelines!”

When it comes to your friends and family, your voice is much more powerful than our banners. Please, take a moment now to spread the message: Save our coast, no tar sands pipelines!

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This morning, we sent Prime Minister Stephen Harper a dramatic message: Save the coast, no tar sand pipelines.

Activists rappelled from Vancouver’s iconic Lions Gate Bridge to unfurl a massive banner over the path of tar sands crude oil tankers into the Burrard Inlet. The action brings attention to the devastating effects that new tar sands pipelines and supertankers would have on our communities, our environment and our climate.

The Harper government is doing all it can to shut down opposition to these pipelines and the expanded tar sands operations they would herald. We can’t let this happen. We need your help, right now, to get the word out to Canadians.

Watch our new campaign video and share it with your friends and family on Facebook, on Twitter, or just forward this email!

An expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline would bring over 350 supertankers, some three times as large as the Exxon Valdez, through Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet each year.

The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline would bring up to 250 supertankers every year through some of the most difficult waters waters to navigate on the planet. Over the past decade Enbridge’s pipelines have spilled, on average, more than once a week.

We don’t want an economy dependent on destroying our land, poisoning our rivers, and fuelling climate change. We need to say no to tar sands pipelines and tankers and embrace the green energy future Canada deserves.

We need your voice in this fight before it is too late. Help us build the movement!

Sincerely,

Melina Laboucan-Massimo
Climate and Energy Campaigner
Greenpeace Canada

Find a Low Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic in Canada

As this may not be a complete list, you should:

Check your City or Province website to find out if you are eligible for financial assistance. Also call your local SPCA, Humane Society etc.  for any free or low cost spay/neuter clinics in your area.

 

Alberta

The Spay Clinic

10575 111 St NW

Edmonton,AB T5H 3E8

(780) 426-4221

 

British Columbia

Atlas Animal Clinic (owned by Dr. B. Bhullar)

5696 Frasier St

Vancouver, BC V5W 2Z4

Phone: (604) 301-0300

 

BCSPCA Animal Hospital in Vancouver

1205 East 7th Avenue

Vancouver, BC V5T 1R1

Phone: (604) 879 – 3571

 

BCSPCA Victoria Branch, Spay Neuter for Cats

3150 Napier Lane

Victoria, BC V8T 4V5

Phone: (250) 388-7722

 

BCSPCA Prince George Spay and Neuter Clinic: serving North Cariboo District

1909 Queensway

Prince George, BC V2L 1M1

Phone: (250) 562-5556

 

Kamloops Spay & Neuter Clinic

391A Tranquille Rd

Kamloops, BC V2B 4G4

Phone: (250) 376-6055

Website:http://www.spca.bc.ca/veterinary-services/kamloops-sn-clinic/about.html

 

Richmond Animal Protection Society (cats only)

12071 No. 5 Rd

Richmond, BC V7A 4E9

Phone: (604) 275-2036

 

Spay & Neuter Clinic of Langley

5758B 203 St

Langley, BC V3A 1W3

Phone: (604) 534-1713

Website:http://www.langleyanimalclinic.ca/index.html

 

Manitoba

Academy Road Spay and Neuter Clinic

620 Academy Rd

Winnipeg, MB R3N 0E6

Phone: (204) 487-1477

 

Winnipeg Spay and Neuter Clinic

10H Keenleyside St

Winnipeg, MB R2L 2B9

Phone: (204) 661-9090

 

New Brunswick

Oromocto and Area SPCA

111 D’Amours Street

Oromocto, NB E2V 0G5

Phone: (506) 446-4107


Ontario

Mississauga Veterinary Spay & Neuter Clinic

5120 Dixie Rd

Mississauga,ON L4W 4J7

Phone: (905)282-0002

 

Ontario Spay/Neuter Services

16586 Woodbine Ave

Newmarket, ON L3Y 4W1

Phone: (905) 898-6112 or toll free 1-888-668-7722

Website: http://www.spayneuter.ontariospca.ca/index.html

 

Ontario SPCA Spay and Neuter Clinic

91A Patterson Road

Barrie, ON L4N 3V9

Phone: (705) 734-9883 or Toll Free at (705) 734-9882

Website: http://www.spayneuter.ontariospca.ca/

 

Ottawa’s Spay and Neuter Clinic

26 Concourse Gate, Unit no 5,

Ottawa, ON

Phone: (613) 798-8970

 

Toronto Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic (Cats only)

2696 Eglinton Ave. W.

Toronto, ON

Phone: (416) 338-6281

Website: http://www.toronto.ca/animal_services/spay_neuter.htm

 

Saskatchewan

Regina Humane Society

Albert St and Armour Rd

Regina, SK S0G K5D

Phone: (306) 543-6363

Website: http://www.reginahumanesociety.ca

 

As this may not be a complete list, you should:

Check your City or Province website to find out if you are eligible for financial assistance. Also call your local SPCA, Humane Society etc.  for any free or low cost spay/neuter clinics in your area.

communities are fighting back against bad mining

 

As you are keenly aware, BC has been a battleground for struggles to protect water against bad mining practices and things are just about to get much worse.

Just last week, mining executives celebrated the announcement of premier Christy Clark’s ‘plan’ to create eight new mines and expand nine existing ones over the next three years. Key to this ‘plan’ is an immediate streamlining the regulatory process that can often take years. Karina Brino, the president of the Mining Association of BC, told those at the launch of the new initiative the plan bodes well for the long-term sustainability of the mining industry.

But who is looking out for the long-term sustainability of our shared water?

One week from today, find out how communities are fighting back against bad mining throughout the continent. Register now for Shout Out Against Mining Injustice conference in Vancouver June 1st and 2nd by clicking here.

Register now to hear leading voices on water, environmental and human rights address the threats posed by Vancouver-based mining companies here at home and in the Americas, and what we can do to work in solidarity with impacted communities and to build a movement to defend water justice. The amazing line-up of speakers includes:

  • Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. She has fought for the recognition of the human right to water and against abusive corporate power for years. Last September she was in Guatemala and visited the Goldcorp Marlin mine, which has poisoned waters and been linked to multiple human rights violations.

  • Chief Marilyn Baptiste of the Tsilhqot’in National Government. She is fighting against Taseko Mines Ltd. and its plan to operate a gold-copper mine near Williams Lake that would destroy Little Fish Lake and Fish Creek and endanger Fish Lake/ Teztan Biny.

  • Anne Marie Sam, Negotiator with the Nak’azdli First Nation. She is opposing the Thompson Creek Metals’ Mount Milligan mine, between Fort St. James and Mackenzie;

  • Tria Donaldson of the Wilderness Committee. She and her group are directly taking on the Raven coal mine, near Buckley Bay.

  • Rodolfo Arteaga of the Comité Regional Ambientalista in Valle de Siria, Honduras. He is raising his voice against Goldcorp’s San Martin mine which polluted the water in his community with heavy metals. That mine is now closed but it is feared it could re-open as an even bigger mine.

  • Leovigildo Vásquez Sánchez of the Coordinadora de Pueblos Unidos del Valle de Ocotlan in México. He is opposing the Fortuna Silver mine in his community because of the threat it poses to local water sources. His brother Bernardo, also an opponent of the mine, was murdered in an ambush this past March. Leovigildo’s other brother Andrés was wounded in that attack.

Public Forum

7:00 pm – Friday June 1st
The Maritime Labour Centre (1880 Triumph Street, Vancouver).
Admission is a $20 donation (or what you can afford) and pre-registration is requested.

*Update: We are thrilled to announce singer-songwriter Mark Berube will be performing at the Friday night public forum!

Shout Out Against Mining Injustice Teach-In
8:00 am to 5:00 pm – Saturday June 2nd
Harbour Centre, Simon Fraser University (515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver).

*Update: Saturday workshops are filling up fast so be sure to REGISTER NOW.

Join us for this timely and important event. To view the full conference and register now, visit www.canadians.org/shoutout.

Help us spread the word! Plan to bring a friend or a group of friends to the events, and share our event details through Facebook and on Twitter with #soami12.

Containment underway on ‘significant’ oil leak in north-western Alberta near B.C. border

RAINBOW LAKE – An investigation is underway into what is being called a significant spill of oil and salty water from an energy site surrounded by muskeg in north-western Alberta that sits less than 50 kilometres from the B.C.-Alberta border.

Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board says the spill happened last Saturday at a Pace Oil and Gas injection well, about 900 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

Darin Barter, a board spokesman, says ERCB investigators aren’t sure how much of the mixture leaked from the site, located about 20 kilometres southeast of the tiny community of Rainbow Lake.

The emulsion is injected down the well to help bring oil to the surface.

Barter says the spill has not been totally contained, but there are no nearby streams or creeks that would allow for the oil to escape from the area.

He says Calgary-based Pace is bringing in special equipment to deal with the situation, but there is no indication of how long the cleanup will take.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Containment+underway+significant+leak+northwestern+Alberta+near+border/6678622/story.html#ixzz1vvDy3V4Y