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.
Lake Erie’s algae explosion blamed on farmers Publish Date: 07-AUG-2014 08:28 AM Toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie fouled the water that hundreds of thousands of people rely on for drinking, cooking and bathing last week, forcing hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio to rely on bottled water.
Québec fixe enfin des règles (French) Publish Date: 24-JUL-2014 09:54 AM Québec a finalement dévoilé mercredi son règlement sur la protection de l’eau potable, une mesure qui confirme que Pétrolia pourra poursuivre ses forages dans la ville de Gaspé, malgré la controverse qu’ils suscitent. Le Règlement sur le prélèvement des eaux et leur protection (RPEP) fixe pour la première fois la distance « minimale » qui devra être respectée entre un site de forage et une source d’eau potable. Celle-ci devra être de 500 mètres.
Executive Director of ELA offers update on facility Publish Date: 16-JUL-2014 02:47 PM With research underway and a new board of directors in place, things are looking up at the Experimental Lakes Area."We're really happy with the board we have put together," says Matt McCandless, who is the CEO. "The ELA has always been known for water research excellence, and we have board members who bring that. But now that the Experimental lakes Area is run by the IISD, there is a business dimension we need to consider.
First Nations critical of oilsands biodiversity Publish Date: 07-JUL-2014 08:55 AM A report showing plant and animal life in the oilsands region is flourishing at more than 80 per cent compared to undisturbed areas is raising eyebrows among those conducting a First Nations community monitoring program downstream. Bruce Maclean, research coordinator for the Mikisew Cree First Nation and head of Fort Chipewyan’s community-based water monitoring efforts, said the report does not accurately reflect what’s happening on the ground in First Nations communities downstream of the oilsands.
When it comes to LNG, Clark is out to deliver – but at what cost? Publish Date: 04-MAY-2014 09:10 AM When the Council of Canadian Academies examined the impact of shale-gas development on the environment, researchers found a disturbing shortage of data on issues of deep concern to British Columbians. The gas industry, which Premier Christy Clark is selling this week in a trade mission to Asia, is booming in B.C. There are currently 13 liquefied natural gas plants proposed and if they go ahead, up to 6,000 new wells could be drilled to supply them. But what will the development of all those wells, pipelines and processing plants mean in terms of environmental impact?
Rapport alarmant sur l'extraction du gaz de schiste (French) Publish Date: 02-MAY-2014 09:05 AM À la demande de l'ancien ministre de l'Environnement, Peter Kent, le Conseil des académies canadiennes s'est penché sur l'impact de l'extraction par fracturation hydraulique. Son rapport final, publié hier matin, conclut que les effets de cette technique sont, somme toute, méconnus. Ses auteurs appellent les autorités à mieux surveiller cette industrie. «Les affirmations de l'industrie concernant ses prouesses technologiques ou les affirmations du gouvernement selon lesquelles les effets environnementaux sont acceptables ne seront pas suffisantes pour obtenir l'acceptation du public, peut-on lire dans le document. Pour ce faire, il faudra assurer une surveillance transparente et crédible des incidences environnementales.»
Politicians go on the attack after scientists call for more research into fracking Publish Date: 01-MAY-2014 11:08 AM OTTAWA — Deputy Premier Rich Coleman challenged Thursday the conclusions of a scientific panel into the environmental effect of shale gas development using fracking. The group of Canadian and U.S. scientists, appointed in 2011 by former federal environment minister Peter Kent to examine the sector’s potential and risks across Canada, urge a cautionary, go-slow approach until more research is done on a relatively new sector. Coleman, responsible for an industry that Victoria considers an economic linchpin for decades, said the B.C. industry is advanced and a model for the world.
Scientists urge go-slow approach to fracking Publish Date: 30-APR-2014 10:58 AM A report from a panel of top Canadian scientists is urging a go-slow approach to the booming industry of hydraulic natural gas fracking. So little is known about the long-term impacts of extracting gas by fracturing rock beds with high-pressure fluids that scientists and regulators need to start now to understand how to develop the resource safely and cleanly, said co-author Rick Chalaturnyk, an engineering professor at the University of Alberta. "Perhaps cautionary is the right philosophy," he said. "We really do stand a chance to put in place the regulatory framework to answer the questions around environmental impact."
Protesters denounce oil pipeline port in Cacouna Publish Date: 27-APR-2014 10:41 AM About 300 people protested today to denounce the construction of a port in Cacouna, near Rivière-du-Loup, for shipping oil from the Alberta tar sands. Under the Energy East pipeline project, the TransCanada company has already obtained the approval from Fisheries and Oceans Canada to conduct drilling in the marine area of Bas-Saint-Laurent. About a dozen organizations planned the event, including Nature Québec, Greenpeace and the Quebec Association Against Air Pollution. They say they want both Ottawa and Quebec to further analyze the project before allowing TransCanada to go forward.
Scientists cite energy East pipeline threat to belugas Publish Date: 25-APR-2014 10:35 AM Marine scientists in Quebec are raising alarms that TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Energy East pipeline project will threaten falling beluga populations in the St. Lawrence River. TransCanada is conducting seismic activity near Cacouna, Que., on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River across from the mouth of the Saguenay River. Belugas are believed to calve in the Cacouna area in the late spring and early summer. Three leading marine researchers wrote a letter this week to Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, complaining that seismic activity and other planned work pose a serious threat to the St. Lawrence belugas.
Produire du pétrole grâce à l'océan (French only) Publish Date: 07-APR-2014 02:08 PM Des chercheurs de la marine américaine ont réussi à transformer de l'eau de mer en carburant, en partant de l'idée que les hydrocarbures, dont fait partie le pétrole, sont composés de carbone et d'hydrogène, présents en grande quantité dans l'eau de mer. En capturant le dioxyde de carbone (CO2) et l'hydrogène contenus dans l'océan, les scientifiques sont arrivés à produire un kérosène de synthèse utilisable dans les moteurs de navires ou d'avions. Après neuf ans de travail sur le sujet, les chercheurs du Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) ont démontré la viabilité du concept en parvenant à faire voler un modèle réduit d'avion avec ce type de carburant.
Scientists map seafloor for future offshore drilling Publish Date: 17-MAR-2014 02:06 PM Canadian researchers, in partnership with scientists from the USA and Korea, are busy laying the groundwork for exploratory offshore drilling in the Beaufort Sea. More than 100 scientists, technicians and crew members took part in a Canada-Korea-USA Arctic research expedition in September, whose preliminary findings were presented to a crowd of more than 30 at Aurora College in Inuvik last Wednesday. Their main goal: to ensure offshore drilling happens in a safe and responsible way.
Marine conservation efforts often miss the mark, researcher says Publish Date: 17-MAR-2014 10:32 AM A Memorial University researcher says marine conservation efforts often miss the mark because they don't target areas truly under threat. In a study published in the journal Aquatic Conservation, Rodolphe Devillers says protection is often granted in areas where it won't inconvenience fishing and other industrial activities — a method he says is at odds with preserving wildlife. Meanwhile, regions that house at-risk species as well as fishing or industrial operations are frequently neglected because governments fear the economic and political costs of interfering with business, he says.
Nouveau-Brunswick : étude d’impact du gaz de schiste sur l’eau (French only) Publish Date: 17-MAR-2014 10:23 AM L'Institut de l'énergie du Nouveau-Brunswick investira plus de 500 000 $ dans une étude sur les eaux souterraines afin d'évaluer les répercussions possibles du développement des gaz de schiste sur la qualité de l'eau des puits des particuliers. Le président intérimaire de l'organisation, David Besner, a affirmé lundi que les citoyens s'inquiètent de l'impact du développement des ressources sur leur approvisionnement en eaux souterraines. Il a fait valoir que ces données scientifiques doivent contribuer à mieux comprendre les enjeux sur la qualité de l'eau.
Facing Millions in Cuts, Environment Canada Prepares to Get Lean Publish Date: 15-MAR-2014 09:39 AM The Harper government's plan for Environment Canada, the department tasked with coordinating the country's environmental policies and programs, involves millions of dollars in cuts and hundreds of job losses over the next three years. The cuts are outlined in a newly-released 2014/15 report on plans and priorities for the department, along with government rhetoric that promises "a clean, safe and sustainable environment while supporting economic prosperity."
Feds need to do more to fight climate change, finds deputy ministers’ report Publish Date: 21-FEB-2014 08:17 AM A secret report from a committee of federal deputy ministers stresses the need for the federal government to further combat climate change and manage the risks that threaten Canadian communities, government infrastructure, food security and human health. The report from the Deputy Ministers’ Committee on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment to the Clerk of the Privy Council Wayne Wouters also identifies priority areas for potential “government intervention” on energy and environmental innovation, including taking action on unconventional oil and gas, water and next-generation transportation.
Oilsands tailings found in groundwater, river – Federal study Publish Date: 20-FEB-2014 09:10 AM New federal research has confirmed that water from vast oilsands tailings ponds is leaching into groundwater and seeping into the Athabasca River. Previous studies using models have estimated the leakage at 6.5 million litres a day from a single pond. But the Environment Canada study used new technology to actually fingerprint the mix of groundwater chemicals in the area.
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.