A hearing begins today in a New Brunswick courtroom to address charges against Maritime conglomerate J.D. Irving Limited after several Great Blue Heron nests were destroyed in 2006. Here’s a little background on the case: On November 9, 2006, J.D. Irving Limited and an employee were charged with unlawfully destroying nests of Great Blue Herons, contrary to a regulation under the Migratory Birds Convention Act. In response to this charge the defendants pleaded not guilty. Prior to the start of the trial, Irving challenged the constitutionality of the Act and the regulation, arguing that they go beyond federal powers and violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Crown countered that the Act and regulation are a valid exercise… read more →
This is the second week the Joint Review Panel has been hearing testimony on EnCana’s proposal to drill 1,275 shallow gas wells and build over 200 km of pipelines in CFB Suffield NWA. Cross examination of EnCana’s panel of experts took longer than expected and only late this afternoon did our environmental coalition’s panel begin their presentations. But it was certainly worth the wait! One by one, our seven experts showed that EnCana has no reliable data to support its proposal. Among many things, our experts showed today: – That EnCana can recover the gas without new wells. – That the ecosystem and wildlife of the NWA is worth more than the gas under it. – That the NWA has… read more →
An update to Chris’ blog entry from last month: On Friday, David Suzuki hosted the CBC program The Current. Dr. Suzuki interviewed Mike Rands, the CEO of BirdLife International, about the declines of bird species around the world that are highlighted in State of the World’s Birds. You can listen to this really interesting interview (as well as lots of other interesting conservation tidbits from the show) here (it’s part three of the program).
The Suffield hearings continued all this week (and will go on for another 2, approximately), with more cross-examination of EnCana’s experts by our counsel and Henry Binder from our coalition. On Tuesday Henry did an amazing job challenging the basis for EnCana’s claim that they can’t recover the gas by using the existing 1000 wells. Then there was discussion about cumulative effects- quite an interesting one, as EnCana claims to have no impact on ANYTHING!! On Wednesday EnCana was talking about 240km of pipeline for 2″ pipe, and 100km of 4 or 6″ pipe… hmmm…doesn’t add up to the 220 km they said they were doing… After the coalition’s cross-examination, it was the Government of Canada’s turn to cross-examine EnCana.… read more →
The environmental review hearings on EnCana’s drilling proposal started in Calgary on Monday Oct 6. You can listen to a recording or read the transcripts Our coalition’s lawyer, Jennifer Klimek, is doing a great job cross-examining EnCana’s panel of experts on the details of, among other things, how EnCana did the environmental assessment without actually doing any field surveys…hmmm… I think the highlight so far has been a comment by one of EnCana’s experts that the small-flowered sand verbena, a federally listed species at risk that lives in Suffield, is considered ugly in California…I beg to differ: it’s no rose, but it’s very pretty, I think. See for yourself. Oh, and by the way, there was a blowout in one… read more →
The good news… President Bush has signed into law a ban on diverting water from the Great Lakes Basin to thirsty regions outside the eight so-called Great Lakes states, and Quebec and Ontario. The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact is the result of a decade-long effort to strengthen legal protections against diverting water from the system of the five lakes, their connecting channels and the St. Lawrence River. (Though there is at least one very important exception to the ban.) Negotiations leading to this pact began back in 1998 when an Ontario consulting firm proposed shipping 598 million litres of Lake Superior water per year to Asia, an idea that sent shivers down the spines of environmentalists,… read more →
Only nine more days before Canadians choose a government, and for many of us, the environment continues to be the main issue. For anyone who has not yet decided which candidate or party will best address environmental issues that affect us all, check out these video responses from party leaders on six crucial environmental questions. 11 of Canada’s largest environmental and nature organizations, including Nature Canada, posed these questions to each of the party leaders, and so far Mr. Dion, Mr. Duceppe, Mr. Layton and Ms. May accepted our invitation to provide personal video responses. I think you’ll find these videos responses, posted at the Tomorrow Today web site, provide good answers for Canadian voters about where the leaders stand… read more →
I recently had the opportunity to represent Nature Canada at the Birdlife International Global Conference held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Birdlife Life International Partnership is a worldwide network of over 110 national conservation NGOs, with ten million supporters. My long journey back home provided me the time to reflect on lessons learned, the people I met and the work that is being accomplished around the world. Simply put, I was humbled and inspired! Despite the challenges that we are facing due to climate change and the accelerated rate we are losing habitat, there remains hope among many conservationists. The world has become more aware of the challenges we face and the need to maintain biodiversity, and this dedicated group… read more →
Environmental Coalition Releases Video of Suffield Wildlife Area Days Before Hearings Calgary (October 2, 2008) – The high-profile hearing for EnCana’s application for a large shallow gas project in the Suffield National Wildlife Area (NWA) will begin in Calgary on Monday, October 6. Today the Suffield Coalition – seven conservation groups opposing the application – launched a three-minute video highlighting EnCana’s poor environmental record in the area and pointing to the danger to Suffield’s rare grassland ecosystem. “Most Canadians will never see this unique landscape or the many species that depend on it. We hope these images will alert people across the country to the risk of losing it,” says Sandra Foss, past-president of the Federation of Alberta Naturalists. At the… read more →
The high-profile hearing for EnCana’s application for a large shallow gas project in the Suffield National Wildlife Area (NWA) began in Calgary today. A few days ago, the Suffield Coalition – seven conservation groups opposing the application – launched a three-minute video highlighting EnCana’s poor environmental record in the area and pointing to the danger to Suffield’s rare grassland ecosystem. The video, entitled “Suffield National Wildlife Area – Defending a Grassland Treasure,” can also be viewed on Nature Canada’s web site, or the Alberta Wilderness Association web site.