Under a proposed law, Ontario municipalities could bypass a slew of environmental regulations.
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act is Canada's most important environmental law. And yet, in the likely event that you are not an environmental lawyer, you have probably never heard of it.
Ecojustice has worked with federal environmental assessment (EA) law in its various forms for more than 20 years. These experiences have given us many clear examples of how Canada's EA process is broken and in need of major changes.
If allowed to stand, the decision will further constrain the ability of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) to ensure that most serious environmental and human health impacts associated with major industrial projects, including mines, dams and tar sands operations, are addressed.
Turning a blind eye to the links between race, socio-economic status, and environmental risks doesn't make the issue any less real. The fact is, environmentally harmful activities take place in some communities more than others. The proposed Act to Address Environmental Racism in Nova Scotia is a powerful step in that direction.
At any given time, there are thousands of Canadians who cannot safely drink the water out of the taps in their homes. In some extreme cases, they may not even have indoor plumbing. The worst part is that for many, help isn't on the way.
A chemical dispersant is a kind of "spill-treating agent" (or "STA") that is designed to break up an oil slick and dilute the oil by mixing it into the water. A chemical dispersant isn't truly a clean-up tool -- it doesn't take any spilled oil out of the environment, and by the time a dispersant is applied, it's already too late to save most life forms in the vicinity of the spill.
People living in industry-heavy areas of cities such as Hamilton, Sarnia, and Windsor bear an unfair burden when it comes to exposure to air contaminants. Many of these substances -- including benzene, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and particulate matter -- are known to pose serious threats to human health,
By almost any measure, Canada fares surprisingly poorly when it comes to protecting the environment. In 2013, the Conference Board of Canada ranked us 15th out of 17 countries based on a wide range of environmental metrics. Yet as anyone who has paddled a river, hiked a trail, or spent time in Canada's gazillion wild and beautiful places will know, this is a country that should be leading the world on green performance.
Earlier this week, I learned that the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) has decided to drop its investigation into an April 2013 chemical leak at a Shell refinery in Sarnia. Why? According to an MOE spokesperson, there wasn't enough evidence to proceed further.