Canada rail safety jobs vacant as budget cuts bite Publish Date: 08-DEC-2014 02:47 PM Budget cuts have left safety-related engineering positions vacant in the Canadian agency responsible for overseeing shipments of dangerous goods, government records show, fuelling worries about trains moving oil across the country. Rail safety is in focus with the boom in oil shipments and a spate of derailments across North America, and the vacancies create a safety risk, industry experts and Canada’s public engineers’ union say.
Protection for at-risk species falters over Ottawa delays, scientists say Publish Date: 01-DEC-2014 10:04 AM Scientists monitoring Canada’s process for identifying and protecting endangered wildlife say the system is floundering because the federal government is taking too long to list species that are deemed at risk while not doing enough to improve the status of those that are already listed. So serious is the problem that none of the 67 species that have been recommended for listing under the Species at Risk Act for the first time since January, 2011 has been taken forward to the point where a decision to list it or not can be made, as federal legislation requires.
La sécurité des transports n'est pas négociable (French) Publish Date: 25-NOV-2014 01:15 PM Il est souvent dit que le premier devoir d'un gouvernement est d'assurer la protection de ses citoyens, et ce dans le respect de ses valeurs et de ses droits. Bien sûr, cela n'empêche pas des accidents de se produire. Par contre, la population canadienne s'attend à ce que ses dirigeants prennent leurs responsabilités et mettent en place les mesures nécessaires pour diminuer les risques d'accident ou la gravité de ces derniers.
Health Canada is not protecting health of Canadians Publish Date: 27-SEP-2014 03:25 PM Health Canada is not looking out for you. This month in the House of Commons, Health Minister Rona Ambrose admitted that her department let potentially dangerous medicines be sold to Canadians. Those drugs were made by a Canadian company, Apotex, which according to the Toronto Star, “altered and in some cases destroyed test data that showed their products were tainted or potentially unsafe.”
Bottle vs. Tap : 7 things to know about drinking water Publish Date: 26-SEP-2014 08:36 AM Recent reports of drugs in our drinking water might have some people heading for the bottled water aisle of their nearest grocery store, but in most parts of Canada, choosing bottled water over tap is a matter of taste or convenience, not health.
Leona Aglukkaq says Paris 2015 climate deal will take ‘courage’ Publish Date: 23-SEP-2014 09:20 AM Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq says Canada is working toward an agreement that would include commitments by all major emitters ahead of the next climate change conference in Paris in 2015. Canada has yet to bring in regulations for the oil and gas sectors, despite a promise to do so by the end of 2012.
Stephen Harper’s climate change timeline Publish Date: 19-SEP-2014 08:41 AM A labour union representing federal scientists, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, would also estimate that the Canadian government was in the middle of a three-year purge, cutting nearly $3 billion in spending and up to 5,000 jobs from its science-based departments, including many scientific research positions and programs in charge of monitoring air, water, and wildlife.
CETA’s environmental safeguards, mechanisms have no teeth, say critics Publish Date: 15-SEP-2014 11:45 AM The Canada-European Union trade deal, considered one of the most comprehensive international agreements ever will be released later this month in Ottawa, but some critics say the rules that safeguard the environment will have no teeth. Even though the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), or the Canada-European Union trade deal, is about trade, critics and proponents alike agree it goes way beyond that.
Keystone Ads Mislead on Canada ‘s Deep Cuts to Environmental Monitoring Publish Date: 02-SEP-2014 01:58 PM Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has set aside $22.7 million for an advertising blitz this year to promote oil and Canada's other natural resources in the United States, Europe and Asia. But scientists and environmental groups say the advertising message is misleading its target audience about the Canadian government's failure to clean up the oil sands, Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Les É.U. et le Canada veulent coordonner leurs réglementation environnementales (French) Publish Date: 29-AUG-2014 11:24 AM Les gouvernements du Canada et des États-Unis ont annoncé une nouvelle initiative visant à coordonner de façon constante leurs réglementations environnementales vis-à-vis un vaste éventail d'industries. Des agences fédérales oeuvreront de concert avec leurs homologues outre-frontière afin de produire, d'ici six mois, des déclarations publiques qui expliqueront de quelle façon elles travailleront avec l'industrie, et avec elles-mêmes, afin de simplifier la réglementation pour les entreprises établies dans les deux pays.
Le déni d’Ottawa (French) Publish Date: 21-AUG-2014 03:47 PM Ottawa prétend qu'il veut renforcer la sécurité ferroviaire. Pourtant, pas un mot dans le communiqué de la ministre Lisa Raitt sur l'autoréglementation et sur la façon dont Transports Canada compte dorénavant traiter les systèmes de gestion de la sécurité présentés par les compagnies ferroviaires. Ce n'est guère rassurant. Faudra-t-il d'autres innocentes victimes pour corriger les lacunes importantes relevées mardi par le Bureau de la sécurité des transports et précédemment, et à plus d'une reprise, par le Vérificateur général du Canada?
National Energy Board uses new power to fine pipeline operators Publish Date: 19-AUG-2014 02:48 PM Canada’s national energy regulator has for the first time used its new powers to penalize pipeline operators, imposing fines worth tens of thousands of dollars to four separate companies. The National Energy Board recently posted notice of two of the fines on its website against NOVA Gas Transmission, which is a subsidiary of TransCanada, and Kinder Morgan. Both companies told the Star that they accepted and paid the fines, but believe public safety wasn’t at risk.
Mount Polley mine spill : Minister to reveal plans for investigation Publish Date: 18-AUG-2014 01:55 PM B.C. Minster of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett is expected to announce this morning the details of an investigation into the Mount Polley tailings pond failure. On Friday, B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak told the CBC News there would be an independent inquiry into the accident.
Transports Canada montré du doigt (French) Publish Date: 18-AUG-2014 01:52 PM Le Bureau de la sécurité des transports (BST) publiera mardi son rapport au sujet des causes de l’accident de Lac-Mégantic. Si la Montreal, Maine and Atlantic et certains de ses employés pourraient être montrés du doigt, certains espèrent que Transports Canada le sera aussi. Le Centre canadien de politiques alternatives estime que l’organisme fédéral a carrément fait preuve « d’aveuglement volontaire », dans un rapport dont Le Devoir a obtenu copie.
Lac-Mégantic needs public inquiry over regulatory failures, CCPA says Publish Date: 18-AUG-2014 01:48 PM The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is calling for an independent public inquiry into last summer's Lac-Mégantic train disaster, expressing fear a highly anticipated report into the accident by the Transportation Safety Board will not go far enough to expose government regulatory failures.
Canada plans to challenge NAFTA agency’s push for oil sands probe Publish Date: 13-AUG-2014 10:13 AM Complaint alleges Environment Canada isn't enforcing the Fisheries Act in the oil sands. Canada appears headed for a showdown with NAFTA's environmental agency following its decision to recommend an investigation into the enforcement of the Fisheries Act in the Alberta oil sands. The Commission on Environmental Cooperation's secretariat notified Canada that it was recommending an investigation, also known as a factual record, on enforcement of the Fisheries Act in the oil sands on July 29, but the secretariat’s decision was not made public until August 7.
Salmon near B.C. mine spill to be tested Publish Date: 12-AUG-2014 10:29 AM First Nations health officials are preparing to test salmon near the site of a massive mine tailing spill in British Columbia amid fears in aboriginal communities that fish from affected lakes and rivers aren't safe to eat. Environment Canada has also started its own investigation.
NAFTA environmental body wants to probe oilsands Publish Date: 08-AUG-2014 09:37 AM Investigators from an environmental watchdog set up as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement want to investigate whether Canada is enforcing its laws on toxic leakage from giant oilsands tailings ponds.Canada has already told the Commission on Environmental Cooperation that it doesn't have that right. The disagreement sets up a second fight between the Harper government and the three-nation body intended to ensure free trade doesn't degrade environmental enforcement.
Mount Polley mine tailings spill highlights risks of deregulation Publish Date: 07-AUG-2014 09:35 AM "Streamlining environmental regulatory review" and "reducing the regulatory burden on industry" are among the federal and B.C. provincial governments’ hottest buzzwords. As the Mount Polley mine tailings lake breach that occurred on Monday (August 4) demonstrates, however, deregulation of industrial activities that impact the environment is a gamble that can have devastating outcomes for local communities and the environment.
Environment Canada investigating B.C. tailings pond breach Publish Date: 07-AUG-2014 08:03 AM Environment Canada has launched a federal investigation into a major tailings pond breach at the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia. “Environment Canada expects companies to operate in a responsible manner that protects the environment,” department spokesman Mark Johnson told the Star in a statement. “Spills are unacceptable.”
CFIA Consultations and Canadian Food Safety (PDF)
Publish Date: 19-DEC-2014 02:44 AM
As part of the 2014 CFIA Consultations, the Professional Institute of The Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) has submitted a detailed analysis of each of the following proposals:
Scientists Rally in Support of Federal Research
Publish Date: 27-NOV-2014 11:16 AM
On the morning of October 22, researchers and science staff from Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture & Agri-food Canada and the Department of National Defence demonstrated in Québec city at the entrance of Université Laval in support of research in the federal government.
The Canada First Research Excellence Fund seems to be the Harper government’s response to fierce criticism about its science policies. It was announced with much fanfare last week (although it had appeared in the spring budget) by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as an unprecedented investment to strengthen Canada’s position in the world of science. But it came on the heels of an uproar in the scientific community over the imminent shuttering of a world-class science facility at the University of Ottawa, highlighting precisely what many critics believe is wrong with the Conservatives’ approach to science.
Irrités par les interventions du gouvernement Harper, les scientifiques fédéraux ont concocté un répulsif inusité: des clauses à insérer dans leur convention collective. Reste à voir si le remède sera homologué.