Oilsands projects that require high pressure steam injected deep underground were excluded from a list requiring mandatory environmental reviews.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has agreed to correct a murky and secretive review process for industrial projects, says a new audit tabled in the Canadian Parliament on Tuesday.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the National Energy Board and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission all told auditors in the report that they would improve weaknesses identified by the audit, including a lack of transparency, the absence of documented evidence to support decisions on project approvals, and inadequate tools to allow for public and aboriginal participation in reviews.
An Environment Canada scientist concluded that a proposed real estate project could drive the western chorus frog to extinction in habitats in La Prairie, a suburb on Montreal’s south shore. Photo courtesy of Raymond Belhumeur, Nature Québec
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is offering no explanation for a mysterious memo sent from a senior bureaucrat to the environment minister that incorrectly summarized scientific evidence from a secret report.
The memo, released through a court challenge, contradicted the warnings from an Environment Canada scientist about “imminent” danger from a major residential real estate project near Montreal that is threatening the survival of a critical population of western chorus frogs, protected under federal endangered species legislation.
Federal scientists have expressed concerns about the Energy East’s projects impacts on threatened beluga whales. Fisheries and Oceans Canada said one of its top scientists, Véronique Lesage, was not available for an interview. Photo courtesy of GREMM.
A stunning Quebec Superior Court injunction that temporarily halted exploratory work on a major cross-Canada oilsands pipeline project is raising fresh questions about whether the Canadian government muzzled a top scientist while reviewing the industry proposal.
Parks Canada says the Athabasca Glacier, a major source of water to communities and industry in Western North America, has been shrinking for 125 years and “may almost disappear within three generations.” Strong scientific evidence points to human activity as the cause of climate change, says the federal agency.
On the eve of an international climate change summit of government leaders in New York, Canada is being challenged about its own domestic record in addressing the heat-trapping pollution that contributes to global warming.
Here’s a historical timeline of some of the major climate change policies, statements and related decisions made by Canada since 2006 when Prime Minister Stephen Harper was first elected to form a government.
From a pledge to introduce a carbon tax in 2007 to internal debates about climate change science, this timeline covers the promises and the action by the Canadian government in recent years.
Participants in a June 2014 “healing walk” around oilsands facilities, close to Fort McMurray, Alberta, stop near a pond filled with toxic tailings waste.
Who are Health Canada’s experts assessing human health impacts of oilsands development? And why has the federal government never done a comprehensive study of health impacts in the region after more than half a century of industrial development?
These are among the questions I asked Health Canada in early July as part of my research for this oilsands story published this week.
Dr. John O’Connor (centre) speaks about health impacts of oilsands development on a panel with Mikisew Cree member George Poitras (left) and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam (right)
FORT McMURRAY, AB – A new study from the University of Manitoba will soon challenge industry and government claims downplaying environmental health impacts of oilsands development, said the chief of a First Nations community Friday.
“When that report comes out, it’s going to blow the socks off industry and government,” Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation told native and non-native supporters gathered at a campsite for an outdoor weekend retreat near major oilsands projects. “We went ahead and did our own independent studies and we found some very stunning results.”