Archive

Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Earthgauge News – Nov. 5, 2017

November 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Edition #5 of the Earthgauge News podcast for the week of Nov. 5, 2017.

A weekly Canadian environmental news podcast featuring stories from across Canada and around the world.

Join me here every Monday or subscribe in iTunes or your favourite podcast catcher.

On the show this week:

  • Parts of the historic Rideau Canal in Ottawa has been declared a contaminated site
  • Woodland caribou in Canada continue to decline
  • Nova Scotia watersheds are bouncing  back from decades of acid rain damage
  • BC coastal killer whales will be given additional federal protections
  • Hundreds of sea turtles have been found dead off the coast of El Salvador.
  • 25,000 people marched in the streets of Bonn ahead of the COP23 climate talks
  • Eco-friendly furniture is becoming the way of the future

Earthgauge News – Oct. 30, 2017

October 31, 2017 Leave a comment

Edition #4 of the Earthgauge News podcast for the week of Oct. 30, 2017.

A weekly Canadian environmental news podcast featuring stories from across Canada and around the world.

Join me here every Monday or subscribe in iTunes or your favourite podcast catcher.

On the show this week:

  • Could owning a car become a thing of the past? 
  • The calming effects of nature
  • Giant oil companies are paying less taxes in Canada than elsewhere
  • The state of Victoria in Australia is the latest place to ban plastic bags
  • Fossil fuel consumption in Canada is projected to peak by 2019, but global CO2 levels shot up at record levels in 2016. 

 

Earthgauge News – Oct. 23, 2017

October 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Edition #3 of the new Earthgauge News podcast for the week of Oct. 23, 2017.

A weekly Canadian environmental news podcast featuring the top stories from across Canada and around the world.

Join me here every Monday or subscribe in iTunes or your favourite podcast catcher.

Globe and Mail: Budget’s new rules unfairly target environmental groups

April 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Even the very moderate editorial board of the Globe and Mail is condemning the Harper government’s attacks on environmental groups in Budget 2012. (See posts below for more details.) Here are a couple excerpts from the Globe’s editorial yesterday.

The Conservatives are continuing their dishonourable attack meant to intimidate environmental groups, in a budget item that stands out for adding a needless new cost.

Non-profit groups will be required to “provide more information on their political activities, including the extent to which these are funded by foreign sources,” budget documents say. 

The Canadian government is only too happy to solicit foreign capital, foreign students (it has special scholarships for them), foreign culture, foreign labour. But foreign charitable donations for advocacy? Why, they’re a threat to the Canadian way of life!

The real target is obvious – environmental groups, especially those opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline proposed to run from Alberta through British Columbia, to take oil-sands bitumen to ocean tankers for delivery to Asia. In January, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver issued a public letter – diatribe, more like – denouncing “environmental and other radical groups” who “hijack” regulatory bodies and “use funding from foreign special interest groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest.”


Budget 2012 continued: Has the Conservative government declared war on the environment?

March 30, 2012 Leave a comment

The Toronto Star columnist Chantal Hebert said on CBC’s At Issue panel last night that the Conservative Budget 2012 (announced yesterday) was the worst environmental budget she had seen in her 20 years working on Parliament Hill. Remember that Hebert is not exactly an environmental radical – she is a respected pundit who is somewhat moderate in her views in fact.

I already discussed the government’s intention to eliminate the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy (see post below). More attacks on the environment in the budget include:

  • Environment Canada’s budget is being cut again, this time by 6%. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) is in line for a 40 per cent cut in the new budget year.
  • Touting a ‘one project, one review’ principle, the CEAA is up for an overhaul with some responsibilities being downloaded on provinces, newly imposed timelines and a limiting of the scope of reviews. Joint panel environmental reviews are to be limited to 24 months, National Energy Board hearings to 18 months and standard environmental assessments to one year. This will jeopardize peoples’ capacity to participate in reviews and further undermines the ultimate goal of reviews in ensuring environmental protection is a priority in all projects – even if this means refusing to approve certain projects.
  • Does anyone doubt that the “streamlining” (read gutting) of environmental review processes has something to do with getting tar sands oil to market as fast as possible through the construction of pipeline projects like the highly controversial Keystone XL to the Gulf of Mexico and Northern Gateway to the coast of B.C.? As Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in his Budget speech “…it has become clear that we must develop new export markets for Canada’s energy and natural resources, to reduce our dependence on markets in the United States. The booming economies of the Asia- Pacific region are a huge and increasing source of demand, but Canada is not the only country to which they can turn. If we fail to act now, this historic window of opportunity will close.”
  • The budget does not renew funding for the EcoENERGY energy efficiency program.
  • Budget 2012 does give minimal tax support to ‘clean energy’ and energy efficiency, to the tune of $2 million.
  • According to Andrea Harden-Donohue of Rabble.ca $1.38 billion a year is allocated to energy development through subsidies. Some changes are planned for subsidies to the oil and gas industry on Canada’s East coast but tar sands subsidies remain untouched.

What to make of all this? Does this budget amount to what is ostensibly a government declaration of war on environmental advocacy groups in Canada? Perhaps Steven Guilbeault of Équiterre put it best when he summarized the budget this way: “In a budget that seems to have been written for, and even by, big oil interests, the Harper government is gutting the environmental protections that Canadians have depended on for decades to safeguard our families and nature from pollution, toxic contamination and other environmental problems.” Read their full statement.

%d bloggers like this: