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.
Right 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.
But 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.
While 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 interpret 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 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.
“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 potential 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.”
Ecojustice 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.
Ecojustice 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.
He 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,”
Fracking 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 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.
“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.
“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.”
Kirsten 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.
The 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” ~
Posted in Art, Conservation, Educational, Ethnic Art and Dance, Marine Biology, Nature, Nature, Photography, Uncategorized
Tagged Almonte, Aylmer, Barrhaven, Bearbrook, bing, Blackburn Hamlet, Buckingham, Carleton Place, Carp, casselman, Chelsea, Chrysler, Clarence Creek, Cumberland, diseased salmon, Ecojustice, environment, Eternally Pure Water Systems Inc, Fitzroy Harbour, force B.C. legislation to protect Canadian waterways, fracking, Gatineau, Google, Greely, Hammond, Hawkesbury, Kanata, Kemptville, life cycle of salmon, Limoges, Luskville, Manotick, Marathon, marine life, Metcalfe, Munster, Navan, North Gower, Orleans, Osgoode, Ottawa, Ottawa East, Ottawa South, Ottawa West, Quyon, Rainsoft Ottawa water treatment products sales and service in Ottawa and all surrounding areas, Richmond, Russell, Sarsfield, South Mountain, St. Albert, Vancouver, Vanier, Vars, Vernon, water treatment Rainsoft products in Ottawa and all surrounding areas, Yahoo, Yelp
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!!!
BONNE FETE CANADA!!!
145 YEARS OLD!!!
“… with glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free…”
On July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Ontario; and Quebec. The anniversary of this date was called Dominion Day until 1982. Since 1983, July 1 has been officially known as Canada Day.
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world’s second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The three territories are Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon.
Let’s celebrate our country’s birthday by watching three superb, entertaining and educational videos. Canada is an incredibly diverse land: geographically and culturally
from “sea to shining sea”.
The following is a spectacular example of how music enhances photography. This video is accompanied by Il Divo and Celine Dion’s , “I Believe”. To fully appreciate Canada’s incredible beauty, watch the three videos in ‘FULL SCREEN’ MODE.
For all of our friends around the world the following YouTube video, “Tom Brokow Explains Canada to Americans”, is a great introduction to Canada ~ and I must admit that, although I have lived in Canada all my life, I LEARNED A GREAT DEAL BY WATCHING THIS VIDEO AND HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT TO EVERYONE!
~ Uploaded by j940651 on 27 Feb 2010 ~ Tom Brokaw explains the relationship between Canada and The United States, in a pre-recorded short film that aired on NBC, prior to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
AND LAST, BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST ~ this special video, “CANADA REGIONS – CANADIAN PERSPECTIVES CLASS”, has slides, videos and TEXT DESCRIPTIONS of the photographs ~ Beautiful video expressing Canada values and attitudes. What a majestic landscape and incredible people ~ the second largest country on earth.
Now that you’re incredibly ‘PUMPED’ about this GREAT COUNTRY of ours ~ get out with family, friends and neighbours to participate in all the ‘Canada Day’ activities that are offered in your communities – fellow Ottawans see the link at end of blog for what our city has to offer.
Your friends at Rainsoft Ottawa are very proud, thankful and blessed to be living in this spectacular country of ours ~ CANADA!
Link to Canada Day 2012 Events ~
Link to history of Canada’s Provinces and Territories ~
I hope you enjoyed my tribute to Canada and that you will store this blog in you ‘Favorites’ folder for encore viewing.
HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!
Posted in Beautiful Photography, Canadian National Holiday, Educational, Entertainment, events, Geography, Music, Nature, Travel, Video, Water
Tagged Alberta, British Columbia, Canada, Canada Day, Canada's remarkable scenery, Canadian mountains, Canadian Provinces and Territories, Canadian rivers, Carp, Celine Dion, Dominion Day, embrum, Eternally Pure Water Treatment Systems Sales & Service for Ottawa and surrounding areas in Ontario and Quebec, Greely, Il Divo, Kanata, Kemptville, Manitoba, Manotick, Map of Canada, Navan, nepean, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Niagara Falls, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Orleans, Osgoode, Ottawa East, Ottawa South, Ottawa West, Prince Edward Island, Provinces and territories of Canada, Quebec, Rainsoft of Ottawa Sales and Service for Ottawa and all surrounding areas in Ontario and Quebec, Richmond, Russell, Saskatchewan, sttitsville, Tom Brokaw, United States, Vancouver, World's second largest country, YouTube, Yukon
DON’T MISS THIS!
A new eco-adventure series called The Water Brothers will start airing on TVO March 19th, 7 pm EST.
The show follows real-life brothers Alex and Tyler Mifflin as they travel around the world showcasing the challenges faced by water, our most valuable and extremely troubled resource.
Originally from Toronto, the Mifflins have effectively created the show on their own: Alex is the lead researcher, co-writer and co-host, and Tyler is co-host, director and co-producer.
In the first season, the show features locations such as the Mekong River in South East Asia, the Arctic Circle, the disappearing coral reefs of the Caribbean, and the Carp-infested waters of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.
Tyler is a skilled cinematographer and emerging director. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a major in film production. Tyler got his start in film and television industry at a young age when he shot and starred in an episode of the YTV reality show Road Scholars, for which he traveled all over France, Italy and Switzerland, exploring many cultural wonders and doing extreme sports such as snowboarding, wakeboarding, mountain biking and rock climbing. Tyler has filmed projects in Cambodia, Laos, Belize, Mexico the U.A.E, and all over Canada, from the rough mountaintops of the Rockies to the urban streets of Toronto and Vancouver. Tyler recently completed a course in 3D filmmaking presented by the Canadian Society of Cinematographers. Tyler’s hobbies include any sport that involves a board, scuba diving, rock climbing, reading, playing music (harmonica, drums) and video games, and spending time at his family cottage on Georgian Bay.
Tyler’s Water Issue
1 billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water. Water is a finite resource, and it is being taken for granted. It is important that we do what we can in our everyday lives to sustain water for future generations.
The idea to embark on The Water Brothers project first arose when Alex started working alongside his brother at SK Films in 2009 conducting research for IMAX® films in development. After receiving a degree in International Development and Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College earlier that year, the decision to join the family business and then begin The Water Brothers project were easy since they both allowed him to combine his interests in science and the environment and use film to explore how humans can harmonize our relationship with water and the natural world. When he isn’t hosting television shows, reading, enjoying music or thinking about the worlds biggest social and environmental dilemmas, Alex likes to spend his time playing sports, watching sports, taking scuba diving trips, and hanging out with friends surrounded by nature at the family’s Georgian Bay island cottage.
Alex’s Water Issue
Climate change is having a devastating effect on several places around the world. The great thing is that we can make little changes to curb it, like driving hybrid cars or turning off your lights when you’re not home. We can all make a difference.
To coincide with UN World Water Day, the Mifflins will launch their free mobile app called “Quench,” which tells users in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area where the closest water refill stations are.
The Mifflins will also be appearing at the Green Living Show in Toronto on Eco Youth Day: April 13, 2012.
WaterBrothers’ Home Page:
“H2 oh-oh” follow up info: