Tag Archives: Orleans

Ana Rucner – Ode to Joy

1-ANA RUCNER CELLIST

I’m certain the you will be as delighted as I was to watch this mesmerizing and captivating video.  I know I’ve never seen this level of excellence in videography – kudos to those who created this on behalf of Croatia’s Tourism Board.

This Youtube video, “Ana Rucner – Ode to Joy” was uploaded on Nov 23, 2011 as the official video of the Croatian National Tourist Board “Ode to Joy” – Croatia – the new tourism star of the European Union. 

The video, featuring the most famous of Ludwig van Beethovan’s music – Ninth Symphony , was recorded in Ston, in Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

ANA IMAGE 2Performed by: Ana Rucner, Croatian cellist star

Ston is home to the second largest stone wall in the world and the video comes following Ana filming a music video on the Great Wall of China, which provided the inspiration for joining the two sites. The hope is that the music video will like Ana’s previous videos, bring tourists from all over the world closer to Croatia, showcasing elements of Ston’s culture and heritage , gastronomic offer, vineyards and salt works.

Ana plays modern interpretations of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, with musician Neven Kocković accompanying and shellfish harvesters from Ston also featured. 

water-dropletHave a wonderful weekend everyone and share this video with family and friends – a great way to keep in touch.

   

Baltimore Harbor Cleanup ingenuity

1-INNER HARBOR BALTIMORE

The following article, “How a Solar-Powered Water Wheel Can Clean 50,000 Pounds of Trash Per Day From Baltimore’s Inner Harbor”, by Brandon Baker, June 25, 2014 on EcoWatch (link at end of article)

 FIRST IN BLOGA large wheel has been strolling the Baltimore Inner Harbor the past month, doing its best to clean the trash that has littered a city landmark and tourist attraction.

JOHN KELLERIt’s called the Inner Harbor Water Wheel, and though it moves slow, it has the capability to collect 50,000 pounds of trash. The timing for John Kellett’s solar-powered creation is crucial—hands and crab nets simply can’t keep up with the growing amount of wrappers, cigarette butts, bottles and other debris carried from storm drains into the harbor.

The following youtube video, “Water Wheel operating in a rain storm (Baltimore, MD)”, published May 16, 2014 covers the Inner Harbor Water Wheel as it receives its first major flow of trash on the morning of Friday, May 16th.

“It looks sort of like a cross between a spaceship and a covered wagon and an old mill,” says Kellett told NPR. “It’s pretty unique in its look, but it’s also doing a really good job getting this trash out of the water.”

JONES FALLSThe wheel has become an integral part of the Healthy Harbor Waterfront Partnership Initiative. It receives power from the Jones Falls river’s current near the harbor, which turns the wheel and lifts trash from the water into a dumpster barge. A solar panel array keeps it running when there water current isn’t enough.

Graphic credit: Healthy Harbor

The wheel is now docked to the harbor. Each it runs, it removes an impressive amount of debris. So far, it has never collected less than eight cubic yards of trash.

Graphic credit: Healthy Harbor

Healthy Harbor hopes to make the body of water swimmable in less than six years, and the Water Wheel could be a big part of that. 

BILL FLOHR“The water wheel has been a time-saver for us,” said Bill Flohr, who runs Baltimore Harbor’s East Marina. “It seems to be collecting probably 95 percent of what we normally had to pick up by hand.”

I wonder if a version of this might lead to the possibility of using mega-sized solar powered water wheels to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (A plastic continent) that some say is 3 times larger than the United States and 90 feet deep, and growing… 
Wikipedia - Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches, sometimes collectively called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (two large masses of ever-accumulating trash). The Eastern Garbage Patch floats between Hawaii and California; scientists estimate its size as two times bigger than Texas. The Western Garbage Patch forms east of Japan and west of Hawaii.  The garbage patches present numerous hazards to marine life, fishing and tourism. 

http://ecowatch.com/2014/06/25/solar-water-wheel-trashbaltimore-inner-harbor/

 

 

Friday Chuckles ~ Gas Gouging Comics ~ ‘must share’!

Gas pricing and gas gouging topics are at the top of my hate list.  We are not getting satisfactory results from all our complaining, therefore, even though our wallets are empty we might as well have a few chuckles – some of them are hilarious!!! 

A little gasoline  humor……

GAS GAGE

GAS GAGE2

 

LAUGHING2GIMPCROPPED

COMIC1

 

COMIC2

LAUGHING3

COMIC3

 

COMIC4

 

Obama Finally Solves The Gas Price Issue — Obama Parody ! – published on Mar 30, 2012

LAUGHING2GIMPCROPPED

COMIC5

 

COMIC6

 

LAUGHING3

COMIC7

COMIC8

LAUGHING2GIMPCROPPED

 

COMIC9COMIC10

LAUGHING3

COMIC11

Going somewhere this weekend -
to the cottage, on vacation, to the beach, camping, etc.?  

Loan already approved? ~ ha! ha! ha! 

Have a great one!



STOP Pipeline GAG ORDER On Mattawa citizens!

1-SILENCE1 25,000 Canadians have already stood up for free speech - the more of us join them before today’s crucial Council meeting in Mattawa, the more likely we’ll win! Pipeline giant TransCanada just secured an entire town’s silence with a $30,000 “gift” - preventing the town council from speaking out about a dangerous new tar sands pipe. But a massive uproar can still kill this dirty deal and win back the town’s voice.

Giant oil companies are fighting hard to snake these tar sands pipelines across our country - and deals like this let them plow through without resistance. But now the company is on the defensive and says that they will cut out the silencing clause “if necessary”. On Monday, Mattawa’s town council will meet and have the chance to demand they do just that. It isn’t easy to stand up to a huge corporation, but the small Ontario town of Mattawa can do it. We only have days to act! 

AVAAZClick to sign the petition, and Avaaz will deliver it straight to the city council meeting: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/dont_silence_mattawa_e/?blTFScb&v=42409 TransCanada is building its “Energy East” pipeline carrying tar sands oil just 60km east of Mattawa. In 2012 they donated money for a rescue vehicle for the town - and now a condition bars the council from publicly commenting on the pipeline. But another part of the contract gives a way out if both sides agree. On Monday, Mattawa town council can pass a resolution demanding that the silencing clause be removed - and put the pressure on TransCanada to return freedom of speech to the town. No town in Canada should be prevented from looking out for the interests of its citizens, especially in the face of pipelines that could devastate their areas with a leak. And critics say this one could hurt our climate even more than the Keystone Pipeline! TransCanada says this isn’t a gag order, that it actually protects the town from having to say nice things about the pipeline. But that’s ridiculous – the deal itself describes the ban on comments as a “benefit” the town must provide for the company. On Monday, Mattawa’s town council can stand up to Big Oil on behalf of all of Canada’s communities and say that our silence can’t be bought. Click now and tell Mattawa that we’ve got their back – YOUR VOTE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Carrot Clarinet, Musical Treat ~ No Kidding!!!

CARROT CLARINET BEST

The following video, “Carrot clarinet: Linsey Pollak at TEDxSydney 2014″, published on Jun 1, 2014, is absolutely amazing – from concept through making to delivery – an amazing musical performance! Linsey Pollak turns a carrot into a clarinet using an electric drill, a carrot and a saxophone mouthpiece, and plays it all in a matter of 5 minutes.

Linsey Pollak is an Australian musician, instrument maker, composer, musical director and community music facilitator. He has recorded 31 albums, toured his solo shows extensively in Europe, North America and Asia as well as performing at most major festivals around Australia.

Linsey has devised many large Festival pieces such as “BimBamBoo” and “Sound Forest”, as well as collaborating on many music and theatre projects around Australia. He established The Multicultural Arts Centre of WA, and has co-ordinated five Cross-cultural Music Ensembles in three different States. Linsey has also worked as a musical instrument maker for 40 years and has designed a number of new wind instruments as well as specializing in woodwind instruments from Eastern Europe.

I can’t wait to make one or more of these carrot clarinets to impress my grandchildren (and maybe even some of my friends).  I guess I’ll have to keep it in the fridge – no slippery, slimy playing for me!

TEDxSydney is an independently organised event licensed from TED by longtime TEDster, Remo Giuffré (REMO General Store) and organised by his General Thinking network of fellow thinkers and other long time collaborators. TEDxSydney has become the leading platform and pipeline for the propagation of Australian ideas, creativity, innovation and culture to the rest of the world. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. 

 

California Drought Crisis affects U.S. and Canada

HOW BAD IS THIS DROUGHT GRAPHThe Nexus in Crisis – California’s drought is everybody’s problem, by Kerry Freek, is from WaterCanada’s Mar/April 2014 issue

Dangerously low river levels might be a gold prospector’s dream, but California’s drought—gearing up to be the worst in the United States on record this century—is quickly becoming a widespread nightmare.
NOAAAt the end of January, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that water levels in all but a few reservoirs in the state were at less than 50 per cent of capacity. DROUGHT MONITORBy February, drought had affected every square inch of the state in some capacity, and the U.S. federal government announced that nearly 15 per cent of the state, and much of the farmland, is experiencing extreme conditions. On February 19, the Chicago Tribune reported that 10 communities were at acute risk of running out of drinking water in 60 days.
WATER COALITIONThis extreme drought is leading to extreme measures. California’s farmers, who receive nearly 80 per cent of the state’s water allocations, are facing significant cutbacks—and, in some cases, they’re losing water delivery completely. In February, Central Valley farmers learned the state’s largest delivery system would provide no water to the area, which produces half of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables in the United States. The California Farm Water Coalition says this means farmers will leave 500,000 acres of land unplanted in the 2014 season.
OBAMAYou can guess what that might mean for the country. “California is our biggest agricultural producer, so what happens here matters to every working American, right down to the cost of food that you put on your table,” said U.S. President Obama in an address in the same month.

SYLVAIN CHARLEBOISCanadians will feel the impact,  too. University of Guelph economics professor Sylvain Charlebois told CTV News the price of food products imported from California could soon increase by as much as 20 per cent.


Beyond just feeling the impact, Canadians also have an active role to play 
in mitigating the effects of this disaster— especially when it comes to energy.

SIGN2According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, almost 14 per cent of the nation’s hydroelectric generating capacity is concentrated in California. Lower river levels hinder the state’s ability to produce energy.
While natural gas can make up much of the difference, the drought increases demand for this resource in a time when much of the United States and Canada is (or, by the time you read this note, was) in a deep freeze.

GAS PRICES SOARThe unprecedented demand for natural gas has impacted fuel supplies, driving the price of the resource skyward. During this time of crisis, Californians are being asked to conserve both water and energy.
SIGNThat’s just the beginning for  California. The effects of the drought will be lasting, especially in the farming sector where many people have lost their livelihoods. Both state and federal governments are directing emergency drought relief funds—$687 million and $200 million, respectively—to help California residents, farm workers, and communities deal with water shortages.
CROPPED SAVE WATER LOGOWhen we talk about water and its influence, the links between it and food, energy, and the economy—call it any kind of nexus, if you prefer—become dangerously apparent. Californians, and now the rest of North America, are learning that lesson the hard way.
The urgent challenge is to move those lessons to policy and action. After significant weather events, drought and flood alike, a country’s economy takes a major hit. Follow the money and, on top of the millions of dollars for aid, these events result in higher prices for things like food, energy, and insurance, not to mention the increased threat to environmental and human health and safety.
SIGNWill this finally be the crisis that spurs us to action? Perhaps now is the time to look at—and actually begin implementing—alternative sources of power, including sewage heat recovery (see “Wasted Potential” by Lynn Mueller in the Mar/Apr issue of WaterCanada). NATURAL DISASTERS SIGNWe must apply what we’ve learned to ensure this crisis doesn’t worsen or persist. We must be open to learning from this and other disasters— and ensure our systems are resilient enough to handle what Mother Nature throws our way.

CAL DROUGHT MONITOR 2014

KERRY FREEKKerry Freek,

Editor-at-large for WaterCanada

 

Video Gone Viral ~ Salut Salon ~ charming, sexy, funny, virtuosi!

1-SALUT SALON QUARTET

MUSIC BULLET 1Video gone viral ~ over 10 million hits!!!MUSIC BULLET 1

The following Youtube video, Salut Salon “Wettstreit zu viert” | “Competitive Foursome”, has had over 10 and a half million hits since mid-February this year!

Antonio Vivaldi’s “Sommer” wird zum Schauplatz eines musikalischen Wettkampfs. Salut Salon fechten ihn akrobatisch aus, und mit viel Humor – ein Klassiker des Hamburger Quartetts. Ein Konzertmitschnitt aus dem Film “Salut Salon. Der Film” von Regisseur Ralf Pleger…(“The Summer”, composed by Antonio Vivaldi, becomes the stage for a musical competition. Salut Salon fight acrobatically and with a special sense of humor — this is a Salut Salon classic, a live recording from the movie “Salut Salon. The Movie”, directed by musicfilmmaker Ralf Pleger).

MUSIC BULLET 1“Charming, sexy, funny and virtuous, so are the members of “Salut Salon”, a string quartet (two violins, cello and piano) of Hamburg.”

MUSIC BULLET 1“Unexpectedly awesome! - Admittedly, when a friend told me that I had to watch this video of a quartet, I thought to myself “how exciting can this possibly be?” Well, I’m glad I watched the video because these four ladies from Germany blew my expectations out of the water! Known as Salut Salon, the quartet are not only great musicians, they are very talented comedians!”

MUSIC BULLET 1“It’s amazing, playful, and wildly creative and original!”

MUSIC BULLET 1“Un grand moment de musique…
Une prouesse technique (si si !!!)…
De l’humour…
Ces femmes sont prodigieuses, vraiment…”
Tr. (A great moment of music … Technical prowess (yes!!) … Of humor … These women are prodigious, really …)

 Hope you all enjoyed watching these amazing musicians.
Have a great weekend everyone.

www.salutsalon.de / https://www.facebook.com/salutsalon

 

 

HAPPY 147th BIRTHDAY/JOYEAUX ANNIVERSAIRE CANADA!!!

CANADA DAY

What a fantastic and uplifting way to start off your Canada Day Celebrations!!!

“Pharrell Williams – Happy (Canadian Olympic and Paralympic version” Fabulous new video published Jun 23, 2014 just in time for Canada’s 147th birthday celebration featuring my favorite song of all time! Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic teams dance to Pharrell Williams – ‘Happy’ featuring, (in no order) / Danse des équipes olympique et paralympique sur la chanson « Happy » de Pharrell Williams mettant en vedette (pas en ordre d’apparition)

Many thanks to Dominique Ritter of Best Health magazine, July 2014 for her slide show, “25 Reasons to love Canada”, by edition is an impressive insight to all Canadians from coast to coast:

WE TAKE A STAND - From Greenpeace’s campaigns against GMOs and climate change to Vice’s front-line reporting to Adbusters’ Occupy Wall Street movement, we have a vital tradition of protest—and a richer democracy as a result. WE’RE DOGS’ BEST FRIENDS - Inspired by a group in the U.S., Vancouver dog trainer Gini Green recently launched Pilots N Paws Canada, a program to help relocate pooches in overcrowded shelters to less doggy-dense areas, where they have a better chance of finding a forever home.

OUR DREAMS CAN COME TRUE - Shawn Van Daele, who lives near Guelph, Ont., is teaching sick kids that anything is possible: he makes them the stars of their own storybooks using digital illustration of original photography.  

WE DEFINE SPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT - At the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi,Canadian cross-country skiing coach Justin Wadsworth—and his spare ski—came to the rescue of Russian Anton Gafarov after the athlete wiped out and busted his equipment. 

NO ONE DOES WINTER BETTER - Sure, we know how to embrace cold weather—tobogganing, hangboarding and snowshoeing were all invented here—but we also know how to fight it: with underground cities, connected office towers, indoor water parks and snow blowers. OUR SWEET TEMPTATIONS - Quebec is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup, the stuff great ice cream, marinades and pancake breakfasts are made of. In 2012, the amber liquid was the target of an $18-million heist, the stuff Hollywood movies are made of. The upcoming film will star Jason Segel.

WE’RE SHARING THE CATCH - Thanks to Nanaimo, B.C., resident Jon Pimlott, wheelchair-accessible fishing is no longer restricted to dry land. He’s found simple, inexpensive ways to adapt small craft—canoes and rowboats—for people with disabilities. WE’RE TECHNOLOGICALLY ADORABLE - Brooks Way didn’t realize he’d lost his phone until his friend’s sister pointed out the video that had been posted to his Instagram account. A group of Waterloo, Ont., kids found the phone and decided to make a cute video message—”We found your phone”—interspersed with clips of them skateboarding.

OUR SPACEMAN - It’s possible we love Chris Hadfield even more now that he’s back among us Earthlings, touring schools, skyping with students and tweeting answers to questions about spacesuits. 

  WE’RE CARING FOR KIDS - With the support of UNICEF, University of British Columbia professor Judy McLean’s program to provide essential nutrition to children in Rwanda was recently expanded to include 250,000 toddlers. “My goal is to reach all the kids in this age range,” said McLean.

WE’RE ENTERTAINERS - In 1984, a troupe of Québécois street performers, led by Guy Laliberté, founded Cirque du Soleil. Last year, close to 15 million people worldwide saw a Cirque show, and the province’s penchant for acrobatics has expanded to include Cirque Éloize, Les 7 doigts de la main and two specialty schools, making Montreal circus central.

OUR COMIC OVERLORDS - Some people think Canadians aren’t funny, but that’s only because we’ve been so nice about our total domination of humour! If we may issue a polite reminder of our stars: Leslie Nielsen, Stephen Leacock (Groucho Marx was a fan), Seth Rogen, SCTV, Jay Baruchel, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, the Kids in the Hall, Jonathan Goldstein, Lorne Michaels, Russell Peters, Martin Short and Samantha Bee, not to mention Drake and his hilarious undercover streeters.

OUR ON-SCREEN SWEETHEARTS - Two of Hollywood’s current crushes hail from here: Regina’s Tatiana Maslany, who masterfully portrays a handful of clones like it ain’t no thing in the sci-fi hit TV show Orphan Black, and Halifax’s Ellen Page, whose moving coming-out speech showed us she doesn’t just kick butt as Kitty Pryde in X-Men.

WE’RE UNRAVELLING THE MYSTERIES OF THE HUMAN HEART – Last year, the Nobel committee awarded its literature prize to Alice Munro, declaring that her short-story writing has “come close to solving the greatest mystery of them all: the human heart and its caprices.”

WE’RE THERE FOR EACH OTHER – Vancouver artist Jeff Hamada is out to boost spirits. In February, he offered to send a postcard with an encouraging note penned by a stranger to anyone who commented on his blog, Booooooom.com. They just had to provide their mailing addresses and descriptions of their woes. 

WE KNOW SO MANY THINGS! - What game was invented by two Montrealers after they bemoaned the cost of replacing Scrabble sets because of lost tiles? Trivial Pursuit! The most successful board game in Canadian history is 35 years old and still taxing our ephemeral knowledge with apps, new card decks, party versions and special editions (including Disney and Lord of the Rings). 

WE GOT GAME  -Not only did we give the world basketball (thank you, James Naismith), but we also gave the world NBA super­star Steve Nash, as well as Brampton, Ont., a hotbed of top league talent like Anthony Bennett and Tristan Thompson. And how about those Raptors? A for effort. EVEN OUR PETS ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM - How many countries can say that about their four-legged friends?

 

OUR NATIONAL BROADCASTER - Sure, it has slashed staff and lost hockey broadcasting rights, but CBC still means Anna Maria Tremonti, Peter Mansbridge, Rick Mercer, Shaun Majumder, Eleanor Wachtel, Stuart McLean… 

WE PLAY IT AGAIN (AND AGAIN) – “Hockey Night in Canada” was the first broadcast to use instant replay back in 1955, when producer George Retzlaff employed a new process to recreate footage of a goal. We’ve been watching live events over and over ever since, with Major League Baseball the latest to adopt the technology for all game play in 2014.

WE PAY IT FORWARD - Last July, a man walked into a Tim Hortons in Edmonton and bought coffee for the next 500 customers.
Days later, other people did the same in Calgary, Ottawa and Red Deer, Alta.

 

WE’RE SAVING THE WORLD FROM SUPERVILLAINY - Created by Toronto artist Jeff Lemire, Equinox—a 16-year-old Cree girl from Moose Factory, Ont.—is the newest addition to DC Comics’ roster of superheroes. 

 

IT’S ALL IN THE FAMILY - Our awesome athletes come in genetic bundles: the Dufour-Lapointe sisters (freestyle skiing), the Hamelin brothers (speedskating) and the Subbans (hockey). 

 
WE’RE FULL OF HOT AIR - Canada is poised to lead the world in a new era of transportation that looks a lot like an old era of transportation. Airships—dirigibles that require little fuel and no runway, and can carry weighty cargo—are the perfect way to access hard-to-reach areas such as disaster zones. 

WE’RE CHANGING THE WORLD - With We Day, Marc and Craig Kielburger have turned global charitable works into headline pep rallies featuring inspiring speakers (Al Gore, Jane Goodall) and top musical acts (K’naan, Demi Lovato), giving teens a reason to get excited about forging a better future.  

VICTORIA DAYFIRE5HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!

From your friends at

Rainsoft Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada        

 

“We have a lot of great things going for us in the Great White North. Here are 25 reasons to feel proud of the Maple Leaf” http://www.besthealthmag.ca/embrace-life/home-and-family/25-reasons-to-love-canada      

Remarkable ‘LifeStraw’ Water Filter System

1-LIFESTRAW SYSTEMEARTHEASY LOGOThe following excerpts from the article, “LifeStraw Personal Water Filter’ are taken from eartheasy.com.  LifeStraw is the award-winning personal water filter, designed to provide you with safe, clean drinking water in any situation. The ideal water filter for hiking & camping, travel, emergency preparedness & survival, LifeStraw makes contaminated or suspect water safe to drink.

TIME MAGAZINE

LifeStraw has received significant accolades since its original design was invented in 2005.Time Magazine named LifeStraw the SAATCHI“Best Invention of 2005.” In 2008, it won the Saatchi and Saatchi Award for “World Changing Ideas”. 

COMPANY LOGOThe LifeStraw personal water filter enables users to drink water safely from contaminated water sources. LifeStraw is ideal for homeowners during emergencies such as local flooding which can contaminate drinking water supplies. LifeStraw is also ideal for campers and hikers who may be drinking from rivers or lakes and are unsure of the water safety. Because LifeStraw is lightweight and compact, it is also great for travelers who do not want to rely on the quality of local water.

MIKKE;The following Youtube video was uploaded on Mar 12, 2009 - Interview with Mikkel Vestergaard, CEO of Vestergaard Frandsen, on CNN about the inspiration for and challenges of designing and developing the LifeStraw water purifiers.

MILLENNIUM GOALSSince 2005, LifeStraw has been used in developing countries to assist in achieving the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals for clean drinking water. We’re excited to help launch this useful product in North America.

This next video, “The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter Review ” was uploaded Sept. 19, 2011:

To see an impressive list of Features & Benefits click on the link at the end of this blog.

LifeStraw Buy One, Give One

For every LifeStraw® water filter sold, we provide a child in Africa with clean water for an entire school year.

When you purchase any type of LifeStraw® filter, we use part of the funds to donate LifeStraw® Community institutional water purifiers to schools in Africa. LifeStraw® Community is specifically designed to deliver clean, safe water to school children by removing waterborne pathogens and dirt commonly found in source water.

Eartheasy’s goal is to provide clean water to 500 schools in Kenya in 2014. Thank you for supporting this mission!

http://eartheasy.com/lifestraw?gclid=COSukY_BvbICFak7Mgodg3QAlQ

 

 

Fight to force B. C. legislation to protect waterways

 BC SALMON The following article is taken from WaterCanada’s Mar/Apr issue; “A Legal Hotbed – Environmental groups in British Columbia are fighting to force the government into using legislation to protect its waterways” by Siobhan McClelland.
Environmental groups are testing the litigation waters in British Columbia to challenge government actions that put the marine environment at risk.

PIPELINERight now, British Columbia is a
hotbed for environmental issues, with private companies interested in using the province’s waterways as part of their operations, including fracking and natural gas businesses.

               
ECOJUSTICEBut Ecojustice, a Vancouver-based organization that represents several environmental groups, is pursuing many legal cases against the government. The organization claims the government hasn’t used its legislation or has violated its legislation, resulting in too much power being handed over to private companies that are making decisions that affect the environment.
WATERWAYS PROTECTION PROGRAMWhile there are environmental laws that provide protection for Canada’s waterways and marine life, some question how effective the legislation is.

“It’s frustrating to have legislation on the books, which the various levels of government ignore or OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAinterpret in a manner different than what was represented to the populace when proclaimed,” Maureen Bell,
(see link at end for one of Maureen’s articles on water rights) a Calgary environmental lawyer, said. “In such cases, the politicians get full points for creating the legislation, but if it languishes on the shelf or is perverted in its application, it isn’t much good.”
MARGOT VENTONMargot Venton, a staff lawyer at Ecojustice, said that people have been using the courts to try to protect the marine environment since the 1980s, when the rules changed to allow public interest parties standing, or the ability to become involved in environmental cases and bring lawsuits.

VANCOUVER COASTLINE“I think right now, in the British Columbia coast, there’s a lot of tension over how we will develop resources and what we are willing to risk in the development of these resources,” Venton said. “Some of the FISH FARMpotential resource uses, like pipelines or fish farms or whatever it is, are really placing these issues front and center in people’s minds, and we’re realizing that the threat is becoming really obvious.”
BC OIL AND GAS COMMISSIONEcojustice is currently challenging the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission’s decision to issue short-term water approvals to fracking companies, arguing that the companies should have to go through the more stringent process of bringing water-license applications.
RANDY CHRISTENSENEcojustice staff lawyer Randy Christensen said short-term water approvals, which are usually good for two years, are being renewed by the same company five or six times. He said Ecojustice wants the companies that use water for fracking purposes to go into the water-licensing process, where the government would then assess the impact of the water withdrawals more carefully and look at the cumulative impacts of many water withdrawals in one area.
“Our concern right now is that there are really two different routes of getting the water. One has minimal oversight and one has more robust oversight,” Christensen said.
SALMON LIFECYCLEHe added that the cumulative impact of the fracking operations could affect water flow conditions in certain areas and fluctuations in water flow could affect the life cycles of fish in rivers and streams. This could possibly result in shortages at certain times of the year that would affect other people’s water use.
“These are all the kinds of things that need to go through the licensing process so that you have studies and assessments, and you know the impact of what those uses could be,”
Christensen said.
DISEASED SALMONFracking operations aren’t the only concern for Ecojustice. In another case, Ecojustice alleges diseased farmed Atlantic salmon have been unlawfully transferred into an open-pen fish farm, where the diseased fish would share water with wild fish. The claim is that FISHERIES LOGOFisheries and Oceans Canada has unlawfully given a private company the power to decide whether to transfer the diseased salmon.

Venton said decisions about the risks associated with the transfer of diseased fish should be made by the government, not private companies.
FISH FARM BEST“It’s more appropriate for the government to make the call about that risk than it is for a private individual or private company running a farm to make that call,” she said, arguing that the law doesn’t allow anyone to put fish that may carry a diseased agent into the ocean because this could potentially harm the conservation and protection of fish in the ocean.
PRIVATE CO MAKE DECISIONS“I think there is a general trend, in particular in the federal government, to get out of the business of governing,” she said, adding that this is her personal opinion. “There’s also a trend
in Canada toward deregulation and toward handing more and more power and decision making to the companies, with less and less oversight. You see that in British Columbia.”
DON'T FRACKKirsten Ruecker, a communications advisor at Fisheries and Oceans’ office in the Pacific Region, wrote in an email that the government was unable to comment on the fracking and salmon cases as these matters are currently before the courts.
ECOJUSTICE SAVE SALMON IN COURTThe fracking case does not have a hearing date yet. The salmon-farming case is scheduled for a hearing on June 9.

 

Siobhan McClelland is a former lawyer now working as a freelance journalist and the new media editor at Canadian Geographic. She has written for several law publications on a variety of topics.

Maureen Bell – “Water Rights Set To Make Waves” ~
http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&articleid=757