Calgary-based Uravan Metals is blaming Nunavut regulators for killing their proposal to explore for uranium at Garry Lake, near Baker Lake, Nunavut. CBC reports that "the Nunavut Impact Review Board had referred the exploration project to a full environmental review, citing concerns about the sensitive caribou habitat in the area. Uravan president Larry Lahusen said that decision blindsided him and derailed the project."
One of the Harper government's highly-touted research "superstars", lured from outside Canada and granted $10 million, has abandoned his program and returned to England. Another is spending only a third of his time in Canada. The article points out that the money being abandoned could have been used to run PEARL and ELA. The CERC (superstars) program is viewed by many scientists as a disaster for Canadian science.
DISGUSTING: An internal email obtained by The Vancouver Sun has revealed that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is listing “Northern Gateway Liaison” at a top level of its organizational chart. The position was added "under a reorganization prompted by the 2012 budget’s sweeping Fisheries Act amendments." This illustrates the high degree to which oil companies have infiltrated and corrupted our government.
Environment Canada climatologist Dave Phillips argued at a disaster management conference last week that city planners need to consider climate change. He said that building codes are "not keeping up with the science of climate change." The irony here is that EC's climate adaptation group -- killed in the first round of Harper's cuts -- was working specifically on the topic of updating Canada's building codes.
Mike De Souza/Postmedia writes "Pipeline companies and other industrial stakeholders could be obliged to abandon or alter proposed projects – if a review identifies risks of irreversible impacts – because of the Canadian government’s constitutional responsibility to accommodate the rights of First Nations groups, says a newly-released internal federal discussion paper."
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada has recommend listing bluefin tuna as a species at risk. The opposition MP from Cardigan is arguing against it, saying this would "take millions of dollars out of the pockets of our fishermen". It reminds us how his former government rejected the science and denied listing the endangered Atlantic cod for economic reasons.
Opposition parties have relentlessly called for the Harper government to implement recommendations from the Cohen inquiry into BC's disappearing sockeye salmon. In this QP video, the MP from New Westminster-Coquitlam notes that the gutting of fish habitat protections has made matters considerably worse. Cohen identified habitat as a major concern, and noted a "likelihood of harm" from fish farms.
Shares in TransCanada, the company who would build the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta's oilsands to Texas, fell in the wake of Obama's victory. Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver expressed confidence that the project will ultimately be approved in the US anyway. A new Keystone XL protest is being planned by 350.org for November 18. Will Obama reject Keystone XL again?
IMPORTANT: Jill Winzoski used to write about politics for the Selkirk Record, including stories about government cutbacks to ELA. Winzoski was ordered to stop after Conservative MP James Bezan complained to the paper and pulled his advertising. She then signed a petition -- the right of all Canadians -- after which Bezan wrote the Record again and had her sacked. This attack on the press is an attack on democracy.
MORE MUZZLING: Environment Canada scientists have found that snow falling near oilsands developments is contaminated by toxins, confirming earlier results from Alberta ecologist David Schindler's group. The researchers have been discouraged from talking to the press about it, and scientists attending a conference last year were given scripted responses for expected questions that end with directions to EC's media relations.
Emails released from Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver reveal that late last November he admittedly did not “know very much” about energy projects. In the weeks previous he was ranting and raving daily over Opposition questions about Keystone XL. A few months later he labeled environmentalists as "radicals". Apparently Joe just does what he is told. How embarrassing.
The Cohen Inquiry has released its findings on the Fraser River sockeye which have been reduced from a yearly run of 100 to only 1 million. Although there is no "smoking gun" for the collapse, G&M reports Cohen thinks they can be restored if the government "invests in research, limits the impact of fish farms, contains diseases in hatcheries, and rededicates (DFO) to protecting wild salmon and wild salmon habitat."
The National Energy Board will audit pipeline company TransCanada Corp. following complaints that revealed "repeated violations of standard safety regulations and codes". The whistleblower says this reflects "recognition that there was something really wrong with TransCanada.” TransCanada is responsible for the Keystone XL pipeline which would transport bitumen from the oil sands to Texas.
Monday saw another protest of the Harper government's environmental policies on Parliament Hill , this time by Canadian youth attending the PowerShift conference in Ottawa over the weekend. Participants decried the $1.4 billion in subsidies to oil and gas companies, and argued "that responsible environmental policies require economic and social justice."
Opposition parties are continuing to argue against the Canada-China investment treaty which is about to be ratified despite almost no parliamentary debate. The agreement will expose Canada to secret courts should future governments do anything that interferes with Chinese investment, including shoring up dismantled environmental protections. It would effectively make Canada a "resource colony" of China.